Greipel Wins Stage 7 of Aviva Tour of Britain 2015
Andre Greipel earlier this afternoon sprinted to victory in Ipswich, Suffolk and thereby won the Aviva Tour of Britain's longest stage - a 227-kilometer ride from Fakenham in Norfolk.
The Lotto-Soudal rider headed home Team Sky Pro Cycling's double stage winner Elia Viviani and IAM Cycling's Sondre Holst Enger by the narrowest of margins.
The win was Greipel's fourth Aviva Tour of Britain stage win, adding to the three victories he took in the 2010 edition of the race.
Team MTN-Qhubeka's Edvald Boasson Hagen took fifth to maintain his thirteen second lead over Wout Poels and the Aviva Yellow Jersey heading to London and the final stage of the race.
Team Wiggins' Owain Doull finished sixth and thereby kept his lead in the Chain Reaction Cycles Points competition. Doull also remains the Premier Inn Best British Rider thanks to his position as fourth in the general classification. Only a Boasson Hagen stage win in London will deny the Welshman the Chain Reaction Cycles jersey and award, providing he finishes the race.
Peter Williams today secured victory in the Skoda King of the Mountains competition, with no climbs on the final stage London circuit. The One Pro Cycling rider took maximum points on the final Skoda King of the Mountains climb of the 2015 race at Brantham Hill in Suffolk to win by two points from Madison Genesis' Tom Stewart.
Williams also maintains a seven point lead in the YodelDirect Sprints competition. Nine points are available in tomorrow's final London Stage presented by TfL, so only An Post Chain Reaction Cycles rider Conor Dunne preserves the possibility of defeating him in the final competition standings.
Starting in damp conditions from Fakenham's racecourse, the original four-man break featured Chris Opie, Alistair Slater, Johnny McEvoy and Tom Stewart before being reeled in and another all-British group of Alex Dowsett, Gabriel Cullaigh and Graham Briggs took off, with the latter going on to win the Rouleur Combativity Award for stage 7.
With the battle for the final Skoda King of the Mountains points at Brantham Hill a priority, Madison Genesis worked hard to bring back the break, first catching Dowsett and then the other two escapees.
Williams took the points at the top of the climb, with both Zdenek Stybar and then Rob Partridge attempting to go clear in the final kilometers.
The Lotto-Soudal and Sky Pro Cycling teams worked hard at the front to set up the sprint for their respective sprinters, Greipel and Viviani, and it briefly appeared the Italian had claimed the victory on the near side. Television replays, however, revealed the stage had been won by the German.
"It was a close victory, but the photo finish was clear I think," stage winner Greipel told Roadcycling.com.
"We took control of the race from the beginning, no other team wanted to help us. When the gap was nine minutes, one rider of IAM also started to pull. Frederik Frison and Sean De Bie kept the peace high so nobody could attack. Pim, Sibi, Jens and I did the preparation and the sprint."
"I think we deserved the victory, Sky won already three stages. In the first stages we wanted to help Jens to a victory, but we had some bad luck. Because the teams started with just six riders and some lost already two or three, it’s difficult to control, also because everybody's tired after a hard week. Tomorrow we'll try again, but not without help from other teams. They predict rain, we’ll see if Jens or I will sprint."
On the Aviva General Classification there were no changes at the top with Boasson Hagen preserving his lead. However, BMC Racing Team's Dylan Teuns crashed out as the race passed through Wattisham Flying Station and, therefore, lost his position as fifth in the Aviva Tour of Great Britain general classification.
"I hit a hole and lost hold of my handlebars because it was a really big hole," BMC Racing Team's Teuns explained, while being in hospital care. "I totally lost control so I did not have a chance. I just went to the ground."
Teuns suffered abrasions on his left side and a large gash to his left elbow. X-rays on the elbow were negative, but Teuns did require some stitches to help close the wound.
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