Tour of Britain Stage 1: Luke Rowe wins for Sky after crash takes out Mark Cavendish

Confusion surrounds reasons for chute that brought world champ crashing to ground inside last kilometre

by Simon_MacMichael   September 9, 2012  

Tour of Britain route 2012

Luke Rowe, whose role within Team Sky's Tour of Britain squad includes acting as final leadout for Mark Cavendish, was the surprise winner of Stage 1 of the race at the Norfolk County Showground this afternoon after the world champion was sent crashing to the ground with around a kilometre left to the line.

Cavendish, who has confirmed that he wants to leave Sky at the end of the season, had been well placed riding third wheel behind Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and the 22-year-old Welshman Rowe when he crashed coming off a right hand bend at the end of the 200km stage from Ipswich.

The world champion landed heavily on his left shoulder, but there was confusion about exactly what caused the crash, with head-on shots from the TV moto only showing Cavendish tumbling onto the asphalt.

Among other riders to hit the deck were Garmin-Cervelo's Tyler Farrar, there were some initial suggestions that the American was responsible for the incident, however, Farrar may not have been to blame, with reports that he was brought down by a NetApp rider.

Whatever the reason for the crash, it's Rowe who will wear the race leader's jersey for tomorrow's Stage 2 from Nottingham to Knowsley Safari Park after he outsprinted Boy Van Poppel of the United Healthcare team to take his first professional win, with Russell Downing of Endura Racing third.

“It was pretty incredible to win today to be honest”, said Luke Rowe afterwards. “It was quite unexpected but this is my biggest win to date so I am rather happy. Coming towards the end of the race, we had Brad [Bradley Wiggins] on the front and I was behind him and Cav [Mark Cavendish] was sitting third because we were lining the stage up for him but I looked round when he went down and shouted to Brad, ‘It’s for me’, so we went full gas. The team did a lot of work today and i know I can do a good lead out and my responsibility is to get Cav to the finish.”

While Cavendish couldn't start this year's edition of the race in the same way he ended the 2011 one, when he took the sprint on the final day in London, one man who picked up exactly where he left off was Rapha-Condor-Sharp's Kristian House, who spent most of that stage off the front of the race in a break.

The former British national champion, raised in Texas, was in the breakaway again today, and his reward for his efforts is that he becomes the first leader of the King of the Mountains classification in this year's race.

Stage One, Ipswich to Norfolk Showground, 203km

1) Luke Rowe, GBR, Team Sky, 4:51:05 2) Boy Van Poppel, NED, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, same time 3) Russell Downing, GBR, Endura Racing, same time 4) Jeremie Galland, FRA, Saur Sojasun, same time 5) Peter Hawkins, IRL, Team IG - Sigma Sport, same time 6) Rony Martias, FRA, Saur Sojasun, same time 7) Barry Markus, NED, Vacansoleil - DCM, same time 8) Paolo Longo Borghini, ITA, Liquigas - Cannondale, same time 9) Jonathan Tiernan Locke, GBR, Endura Racing, same time 10) Ben Grenda, AUS, Rapha Condor, same time

Rouleur Combativity Award: Niels Wytnick, AN Post Sean Kelly

IG Gold Jersey, General Classification

1) Luke Rowe, GBR, Team Sky, 4:50::55
2) Rony Martias, FRA, Saur Sojasun, + 0.03
3) Boy Van Poppel, NED, UnitedHealthcare, + 0.04
4) Russell Downing, GBR, Endura Racing, + 0.06
5) Jeremie Galland, FRA, Saur Sojasun, + 0.10
6) Peter Hawkins, IRL, Team IG - Sigma Sport, same time
7) Barry Markus, NED, Vacansoleil - DCM, same time
8) Paolo Longo Borghini, ITA, Liquigas Cannondale, same time
9) Jonathan Tiernan Locke, GBR, Endura Racing, same time
10) Ben Grenda, AUS, Rapha Condor, same time

Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification

1) Luke Rowe, GBR, Team Sky, 15pts
2) Boy Van Poppel, NED, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, 14pts
3) Russell Downing, GBR, Endura Racing, 13pts
4) Jeremie Galland, FRA, Saur Sojasun, 12pts
5) Peter Hawkins, IRL, Team IG - Sigma Sport, 11pts
6) Rony Martias, FRA, Saur Sojasun, 10pts
7) Barry Markus, NED, Vacansoleil - DCM, 9pts
8) Paolo Longo Borghini, ITA, Liquigas - Cannondale, 8pts
9) Jonathan Tiernan Locke, GBR, Endura Racing, 7pts
10) Ben Grenda, AUS, Rapha Condor, 6pts

1 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Great day for it! I was stood on Mill Lane in Bradwell waiting for them. Big cheers and a great welcome as they all rushed past.
Its the first race Ive seen and it was brilliant,I cant wait to go watch the TDF next year. Big Grin

2 wheels > 4 wheels

posted by allez rikki [18 posts]
9th September 2012 - 18:15

like this
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