Pablo Urtasan outsprinted Marc de Maar to win the seventh stage of the Tour of Britain today in Dartmouth, EnduraRacing's John Tiernan Locke finished in eighth place adding a further five seconds to his overall lead of the race.
Euskaltel's Urtasan and de Maar who rides for United Healthcare along with Ivan Basso of Liquigas Cannondal and Samuel Sanchez - also of Euskaltel Eusdadi were the final survivors of the the days big break - which started out with around 30 riders and was gradually whittled down to 10 and then finally four for the final part of the stage as the rolling Devon roads took their tool. Urtasan had enough to pip de Maar at the line as Euskaltel made their two man advantage count - all four riders finished on the same time for the stage.
A fascinating stage was further enlivened by the battle for the leader's jersey with John Tiernan Locke attacking off the front of the chasing group with 10Km to go - he was joined in the chasing grouped by a number of other riders including yesterday's stage winner Leopold Koenig who tried to bridge across to the lead group, and Garmin Sharp's Nathan Hass who finished on the same times as Tiernan Locke.
Haas now lies in second place overall 18 seconds down on the Endura rider going in to tomorrow's tough final stage culminating with a climb of Guildford cobbled High St.
Stage Seven, Barnstaple to Dartmouth, 172.9km
1) Pablo Urtasun, SPA, Euskaltel - Euskadi, 4:20:31 2) Marc de Maar, AHO, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, same time 3) Ivan Basso, ITA, Liquigas - Cannondale, same time 4) Samuel Sanchez, SPA, Euskaltel - Euskadi, + 0.02 5) Leopold Koenig, CZE, Team NetApp, + 0.38 6) Nathan Haas, AUS, Garmin - Sharp, + 0.46 7) Bernard Sulzberger, AUS, Team Raleigh - GAC, same time 8) Jonathan Tiernan Locke, GBR, Endura Racing, same time 9) Bartosz Huzarski, POL, Team NetApp, same time 10) Damiano Caruso, ITA, Liquigas - Cannondale, same time
Rouleur Combativity Award: Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel - Euskadi
IG Gold Jersey, General Classification, after Stage Seven
1) Jonathan Tiernan Locke, GBR, Endura Racing, 29:38:14 2) Nathan Haas, AUS, Garmin - Sharp, + 0.18 3) Damiano Caruso, ITA, Liquigas Cannondale, + 0.23 4) Leigh Howard, AUS, Orica GreenEDGE, + 1.02 5) Christopher Jones, USA, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, + 1.12 6) Bartosz Huzarski, POL, Team NetApp, + 2.01 7) David Lelay, FRA, Saur Sojasun, same time 8) Boy Van Poppel, NED, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, + 2.23 9) Christian Knees, GER, Team Sky, + 2.26 10) Jerome Coppel, FRA, Saur Sojasun, + 4.2
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.