PIC BY TEAM CSC
CSC's Martin Pedersen gave himself a great chance of victory in the Tour of Britain when he won today's opening stage from Glasgow to Castle Douglas. The 23-year-old first-year pro beat 19-year-old Australian Matthew Goss and Spain's Luis Pasamontes in the final sprint after the trio had broken away after 24km of the stage out of Glasgow.
The peloton finished almost three minutes down on the three breakaways, who will all fancy their chances of overall victory given the not unduly testing profile of the stages to come. Their biggest test is likely to be in Thursday's stage in Yorkshire, which includes most of the race's toughest climbs.
In windy and wet conditions, the peloton never got seriously organised in chasing behind the three leaders, whose gap stretched to more than 11 minutes. "Because there weren't many teams up there, everyone just left it to everyone else," said Discovery Channel's Roger Hammond. "Quick Step left it to T-Mobile, T-Mobile left it to CSC and it was only with 30km to go they thought they'd better do something."
In the final sprint, Pedersen, winner of last year's under-23 edition of Lige-Bastogne-Lige, edged out Aussie teenage track star Goss. "I was pleased to get in the break so early. All three of us worked hard. We built a good gap and felt we had a chance to win the stage. I knew the gap was coming down, but we held on and I'm delighted with the win and the yellow jersey, which I will be trying hard to defend for the rest of the week," said the Dane.
Pedersen won't need to worry about defending his lead against pre-race favourite Andreas Klden. The German, who finished third at the Tour de France, abandoned the race at the first feed due to bronchitis.
Stage 1, Glasgow-Castle Douglas
1 Martin Pedersen (Den) Team CSC 162km in 4.03.23
2 Matthew Goss (Aus) AIS
3 Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Unibet.com
4 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quick Step 2.51
5 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quick Step
6 Russell Downing (GB) DFL
7 Mark Cavendish (GB) T-Mobile
8 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
9 Alex Rasmussen (Den) Denmark
10 Jermemy Hunt (GB) Unibet.com
PIC BY TEAM CSC