Section: Tour of Britain

Tour of Britain: Cavendish edged by Kittel as Van Baarle wins title

Mark Cavendish lost out by inches to Marcel Kittel in a sprint finish on the final stage of the Tour of Britain, as Dylan van Baarle won the overall race.

Van Baarle took the leader’s yellow jersey on Saturday’s seventh stageand retained his lead after Sunday’s time trial, won by Sir Bradley Wiggins.

The Dutch Garmin-Sharp rider then finished safely in the peloton on the final stage to win by 10 seconds.

Michal Kwiatkowski was second overall and defending champion Wiggins third.

The 2012 Tour de France winner was a further 12 seconds back, having moved up from seventh after the time trial, which was the first of Sunday’s two stages in central London.

An early five-man breakaway formed on the final stage – over 10 laps of the 8.8km circuit used earlier for the time trial – but they were caught with 5.5km left as the sprinters’ teams fought for position ahead of a hectic dash for the line.

It pitted Kittel against Cavendish on Whitehall and just as it looked like the Manxman had edged ahead, the German came back to pip him on the line for yet another win on British and Irish soil in 2014.

It means he has won Giro d’Italia stages in Belfast and Dublin, Tour de France stages in Harrogate and London and Tour of Britain stages in Liverpool and London.

“It’s nice to finish the Tour in the centre of London,” said Cavendish.

“Bradley won this morning and I’d like to have won this afternoon.”

Van Baarle was rewarded for his decisive move in Saturday’s stage to record the biggest win of his career.

“I was expecting top 10. It means a lot,” he said. “I will remember this day my whole life.”

Wiggins was happy with his efforts over the week, ahead of the Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, which begin on 21 September.

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Tour of Britain: Kwiatkowski wins stage four to take overall lead

Michal Kwiatkowski took the lead of the Tour of Britain after powering to victory on stage four in Bristol.

The Pole won the sprint for the line at the end of the 184.6km stage from Worcester to take the yellow jersey.

The Omega Pharma-Quick-Step rider now leads the overall standings by three seconds from stage-three winner Edoardo Zardini of Bardiani CSF.

Sir Bradley Wiggins has dropped back another place and is now in sixth overall, 27 seconds behind the Pole.

Wiggins feels the result has left him with too much ground to make up if he wants to retain his crown.

“I’m still up there but on paper first place has gone now,” he told ITV. “I can’t see myself getting 27 seconds on Kwiatkowski, but the podium is only 12 seconds away.”

Holland’s Albert Timmer (Giant-Shimano) was second after being prominent throughout the stage and Belgium’s Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) third.

The time bonus which accompanied the win saw Kwiatkowski move narrowly ahead of Italy’s Zardini, with Teuns now up to third.

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) sits fourth, 14 seconds behind ahead of Thursday’s fifth stage in Devon.

Defending Wiggins finished in the bunch behind Team Sky colleague Ben Swift, who was six seconds behind Kwiatkowski in seventh.

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Tour of Britain: Zardini takes overall lead after stage-three win

Italy’s Edoardo Zardini timed his late break to perfection to win a summit finish at the end of the 179.9km third stage of the Tour of Britain in Wales.

Zardini pulled clear as the peloton tackled the ascent of The Tumble on the outskirts of Abergavenny to win by nine seconds from Michal Kwiatkowski.

The Bardiani-CSF rider’s victory takes him top of the general classification, 13 seconds clear of Kwiatkowski.

Defending champion Bradley Wiggins came home in fifth place, 14 seconds down.

The Team Sky rider is 24 seconds adrift of Zardini in the overall standings with five stages remaining.

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished third on the stage out of Newtown and is also third in the GC, four seconds behind Polish Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider Kwiatkowski.

Roche briefly moved ahead of Zardini as the pair battled at the front on the final climb but the Irishman had no response when the 24-year-old Italian kicked again to win in a time of 4 hours 35 minutes 2 seconds.

“It’s a fantastic day for me and the team,” Zardini told Eurosport. “I attacked at the bottom of the climb and finished strong at the end.

“The Tour of Britain has started in the best way. This is the most important result of my career. I am really happy.”

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Tour of Britain: Mark Renshaw leads after winning stage two

Australia’s Mark Renshaw leads the Tour of Britain after winning stage two’s sprint finish in Llandudno.

The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider hit the front in the final 100m of the 200km race to pip Britain’s Ben Swift with Ireland’s Sam Bennett in third.

Marcel Kittel, who won stage one, found the 3km ascent of the Great Orme hill, 8km from the finish, too tough and he lost the leader’s yellow jersey.

Defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins finished safely in the peloton.

Wiggins came to the front of the main bunch in the final kilometre, in an attempt to lead-out Team Sky team-mate Swift for the stage win but the Rotherham sprinter was unable to hold off Renshaw.

It was a well-worked victory from the Omega team after their riders Michal Kwiatkowski and Niki Terpstra attacked separately on the descent of the Orme in an effort to stretch their rivals.

Their efforts worked as Renshaw, who is usually trying to deliver Mark Cavendish to the line, sprinted clear on the Llandudno promenade. Cavendish, who was still feeling the effects of a crash on stage one, was not involved in the sprint.

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Tour of Britain: Kittel wins Stage 1

Marcel Kittel wins Stage 1 with a trademark sprint kick

Marcel Kittel emerged triumphant from a thrilling sprint finish to the first stage of the Tour of Britain on Sunday, with Mark Cavendish crossing the line in third place.

Germany’s Kittel (Giant-Shimano) completed the Liverpool stage in two hours, 16 minutes and 35 seconds, just ahead of second-placed Italian Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) and Briton Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who is still recovering from shoulder surgery following his Tour de France-ending crash.

American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) was fourth, with another home favourite in Ben Swift coming fifth.

Swift’s compatriot, Team Sky colleague and defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins, was safely within the peloton, finishing 74th.

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