Brits outclassed in opener

Hopes of a strong showing by home riders in the Tour of Britain were largely swept away on stage one

Hopes of a strong showing by home riders in the Tour of Britain were largely swept away on stage one


The large home contingent in the Tour of Britain field will be hoping for better than most of them delivered on Tuesday's tough opening stage from Glasgow to Carlisle. A big split during yesterday's stage in Scotland means all but a handful of British cyclists are out of contention for the yellow jersey. Only Jeremy Hunt, who finished third, 11 seconds behind Belgium's Nick Nuyens, Tom Southam, who is fifth after picking up time bonuses on two of the three intermediate sprints, and DFL's Yanto Barker finished with the main contenders.

Great Britain team manager John Herety was frustrated that his team - made up of promising young talent plus the experienced Roger Hammond - have almost no chance of challenging for the overall lead. Kieran Page did manage to stay with the leaders for most of the race but could not follow the attack which delivered the stage win and the yellow jersey to Nuyens.

Herety said: "It's not good enough. We should have had more than one rider there. A group of that size - it's disappointing, frankly."

With most of the strongest riders in the peloton in the break, those left behind faced an almost impossible struggle to bring the race back together. After the lead group cleared the feed zone at Drumlanrig Castle, the gap was rapidly stretched, with over 20 minutes separating Nuyens from the best of the rest at the finish.

Herety added: "We drove hard and brought the gap down to about 50 seconds but no other team was contributing. The bottom line is we shouldn't have missed the break in the first place."

Herety's team will now concentrate on going for stage wins, while the squad face a similar challenge in the most important race of their year.

Hammond admitted he had been caught out by the decisive move. "I was still putting my shorts on when the group went," he told The Guardian. "We chased for 50 miles but the stage was over after three. Initially they weren't organised, so we had to close the gap quickly, but there are people here on holiday, people who have to be here and not everyone could ride strongly."

Stage 1, Glasgow-Castle Douglas

1 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic 184.2km in 4.24.32 (41.78kph)
2 Michael Blaudzun (Den) CSC 0.02
3 Jeremy Hunt (GB) 0.03
4 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step 0.04
5 Bert de Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
6 Yanto Barker (GB) DFL
7 Erwin Thijs (Bel) 0.05
8 Bas Giling (Hol) T-Mobile
9 Javier Cherro (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana
10 Peter Mazur (Pol) Navigators


1 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic 4.24.20
2 Blaudzun 0.07
3 Hunt 0.11
4 Cherro 0.12
5 Tom Southam (GB) Barloworld 0.15
6 Rogers 0.16
7 De Waele
8 Barker
9 Thijs 0.17
10 Giling

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