Tour of Britain: Greipel and Albasini grab wins on final day
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tour of Britain: Greipel and Albasini grab wins on final day

by Shane Stokes at 7:27 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Britain
 
US ProTour team HTC Columbia imposes will on race

Andre GreipelHTC Columbia raced to an impressive double triumph on the final day of the Tour of Britain today, with Andre Greipel scooping up his third stage win of the race and Michael Albasini securing the overall classification.

Although several breaks went clear during the eight lap, 96 kilometre concluding leg in London, the American ProTour team combined with Team Sky to reel these in. The last escapees were caught three kilometres from the line, and in the ensuing sprint Greipel got the better of Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Saxo Bank), Roger Hammond (Cervélo Test Team) plus the rest.

For Albasini, it was a day to stay out of trouble and count the kilometres down until he was crowed the 2010 Tour of Britain champion. While he had challengers to the yellow jersey he took on stage three, none of those made real inroads into his lead today. Greg Henderson (Team Sky) did win two bonus sprints but that simply elevated him above Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) into third place overall, and brought him close to the runner-up slot.

Albasini beat Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) by one minute and five seconds, with Henderson a further five seconds back.

Apart from the final yellow jersey, the HTC Columbia team picked up four stage wins; Albasini took stage three, while Greipel was victorious on days one, six and eight. That haul matched what it achieved in 2009, although on that occasion it was Edvald Boasson Hagen who topped the podium on those four occasions.

Directeur sportif Brian Holm said that there were some nervous moments, but that the team performed very well despite being down to four riders. "It was pretty tough for us throughout the second part of the race, but Albasini could count on some great support,” he said. “Marco [Pinotti] got sick and Tony [Martin] too, so it was touch and go. But Bert Grabsch did a brilliant job. He did the work of two or three men. We were also able to profit from the battle for the podium between other teams.

“But Michael did brilliantly. He never panicked even though it was difficult for him and that was really the key to his winning overall.”

The first to attack was the Irish national road race champion Matt Brammeier, who went clear almost immediately after the start and opened up a maximum advantage of 20 seconds over the Team Sky-led peloton. After remaining out front for almost half an hour, he was recaptured just before the first bonus sprint, where Henderson edged out Haedo and Russell Downing (Team Sky).

Brammeier’s 20 year old team-mate Philip Lavery then clipped away with Christian Meier (Garmin Transitions), Koen de Kort (Skil Shimano) and Dale Appleby (Team Raleigh), and also opened a 20 seconds advantage prior to being hoovered up just before the second sprint.

There, Henderson triumphed again, beating Michael Golas (Vacansoleil) and Richie Porte (Saxo Bank), and moving ahead of the latter in the general classification.

Soon after, Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo) attacked alone and was subsequently joined by Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma-Specialized), Peter Williams (Motorpoint Marshall’s Pasta), Tom Barras (Team Raleigh) and a persistent Brammeier.

The quintet rode strongly to establish a 32 second lead 65 kilometres after the start; very soon after that, Barras edged out Sybrandy, Williams and Brammeier to nab the third intermediate sprint. The HTC Columbia-led peloton ramped up the speed soon afterwards and had them almost reeled in just after the start of the final lap. Brammeier and Williams were not about to surrender and jumped clear from the move, but were both picked up by the bunch with about ten kilometres remaining.

A couple more short-lived attacks followed, but everything came together for the bunch sprint, and Greipel once again showed he is one of the very quickest in the sport.

In taking the victory, he notched up his 21st win of the season, extending his run as the most successful rider in terms of numbers of triumphs. “He got the perfect lead out from Mark [Renshaw] and that was enough for him to go for the sprint just as he wanted to," said Holm. "It was a great win and a great way for us to finish the race."

Henderson was also happy, even if he finished fourth on the stage. “Our main objective for the day was for me to move up to third overall and that meant sprinting for those first two intermediates,” he said after the stage.

“I had two full lead-out trains for both of those and got the job done, but the effort involved in doing that cost me a lot of energy and meant I wasn't able to fully contest the sprint finish. I'm certainly not disappointed about that though….to finish in the top three overall and win the points classification is a nice feeling.

"This race is a prestigious tour now and you only have to talk to the other riders to find out how hard it's been compared to the years gone by.”

One of the most dominant squads was the Vacansoleil squad. It picked up stage wins with Wout Poels and Borut Bozic, had Bozic finish second overall, saw Hoogerland net the King of the Mountains title and scooped the team title by over six minutes. Another of its riders, Michael Golas, won the sprints classification.

An additiona award presented today was the most aggressive rider. That went to the An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team rider Matt Brammeier, the Irish national champion.


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Tour of Britain, September 11-18:

September 18, Stage 8: London:

1, André Greipel (Team HTC - Columbia) 96 kilometres in 1 hours 57 mins 7 secs
2, Lucas Sebastien Haedo (Team Saxo Bank)
3, Roger Hammond (Cervelo Test Team)
4, Greg Henderson (Team Sky)
5, Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)
6, Robert Wagner (Skil – Shimano)
7, Russell Downing (Team Sky)
8, Edward Clancy (Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta)
9, Marco Frapporti (Colnago - CSF Inox)
10, Zak Dempster (Rapha Condor - Sharp) all same time


Sprint 1:

1, Greg Henderson (Team Sky) 5 pts
2, Lucas Sebastien Haedo (Team Saxo Bank) 3
3, Russell Downing (Team Sky) 2
4, Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) 1

Sprint 2:

1, Greg Henderson (Team Sky) 5 pts
2, Michael Golas (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) 3
3, Richie Porte (Team Saxo Bank) 2
4, Bert Grabsch (Team HTC - Columbia) 1

Sprint 3:

1, Tom Barras (Team Raleigh) 5 pts
2, Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport - Specialized) 3
3, Peter Williams (Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta) 2
4, Matt Brammeier (An Post M. Donnelly Grant Thornton Sean Kelly) 1

Teams:

1, Team Saxo Bank, at 5 hours 51 mins 21 secs
2, Team HTC-Columbia
3, Endura Racing
4, Vacansoleil Pro Cycling
5, Topsport Vlaanderen
6, ISD-Neri Giambenini, all same time


Final general classification:

1, Michael Albasini (Team HTC - Columbia) 29 hours 23 mins 47 secs
2, Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) at 1 min 5 secs
3, Greg Henderson (Team Sky) at 1 min 10 secs
4, Richie Porte (Team Saxo Bank) at 1 min 13 secs
5, Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) at 1 min 32 secs
6, Patrick Sinkewitz (ISD - Neri Giambenini) at 2 mins 12 secs
7, Christian Meier (Garmin - Transitions) at 2 mins 30 secs
8, Robert Partridge (Endura Racing) at 2 mins 32 secs
9, Koen De Kort (Skil - Shimano) at 2 mins 35 secs
10, Marco Frapporti (Colnago - CSF Inox) at 3 mins 31 secs


Points classification:

1, Greg Henderson (Team Sky) 74 pts
2, Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) 68
3, Koen De Kort (Skil - Shimano) 50
4, André Greipel (Team HTC - Columbia) 45
5, Stijn Neirynck (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 41
6, Lucas Sebastien Haedo (Team Saxo Bank) 40


Mountains classification:

1, Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) 56 pts
2, Richie Porte (Team Saxo Bank) 45
3, Wout Poels (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) 31
4, Patrick Sinkewitz (ISD - Neri Giambenini) 24
5, Cameron Meyer (Garmin - Transitions) 23
6, Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) 23


Teams classification:

1, Vacansoleil Pro Cycling, 88 hours 8 mins 2 secs
2, Sky Pro Cycling Team, at 6 mins 15 secs
3, Team Saxo Bank, at 24 mins 42 secs
4, ISD-Neri Giambenini, at 33 mins 43 secs
5, Team HTC-Columbia, at 36 mins 23 secs
6, Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta, at 42 mins 10 secs

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