Ben Swift opened British riders’ 2011 victory account in January, winning two stages of the Tour Down Under in Australia. A further 45 major wins followed for British riders in the country’s collective best season in recent decades.

Swift’s TdU wins kicked off a season of top-level professional results for male and female British riders as the nation firmly established itself as one of the major players on the international circuit.

The year ended on a high, with Mark Cavendish becoming the first British rider since Tom Simpson in 1965 to win the road race world championships title. Earlier in July, Cavendish won five stages of the 2011 Tour de France on his way to clinching the green points classification jersey, a British first.

Cavendish’s Tour success was part of a bumper July that also saw Nicole Cooke, Emma Pooley, Ian Stannard and Lizzie Armitstead take victories.

Great Britain finished the season as fifth-ranked nation in the Union Cycliste Internationale’s WorldTour rankings, topped by Spain. British-based Team Sky ended the year as second-ranked ProTeam behind the Belgian Omega Pharma-Lotto outfit.

Bradley Wiggins was Britain’s top-ranked WorldTour rider in eighth place after winning the Criterium du Dauphine, finishing third in the Vuelta a Espana and third in Paris-Nice.

Below we list the major road wins achieved by senior British men and women in 2011. We have only included wins in major races open to an international field, and those won by an individual – no team time trials. We have included overall stage race wins and classification wins.

What our list of 46 wins doesn’t take into account is the large number of podium positions and top ten results also achieved by British riders – not least Chris Froome’s outstanding second place in the Vuelta a Espana. It also doesn’t take into account the continued success that Britain is enjoying in other cycling disciplines.


You can vote for your favourite British rider and performance in the Cycling Weekly 2011 Reader Poll>>

British major international pro wins 2011
January

Ben Swift (Sky): Tour Down Under, stage two
Ben Swift (Sky): Tour Down Under, stage six

February
Steve Cummings (Sky): Tour of the Algarve, stage three
Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp): Tour of South Africa, stage one
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Tour of Oman, stage six
Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp): Tour of South Africa, overall

March
Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo): Trofeo Alfredo Binda

April
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Scheldeprijs
Ben Swift (Team Sky): Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, stage five

Ben Swift in Tour of California

May
Ben Swift (Sky): Tour de Romandie, stage five
Andrew Fenn (Great Britain): Tour de Bretagne, stage seven
Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo): Tour of Chongming Island, stage one
Ben Swift (Sky): Tour of California, stage two
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Giro d’Italia, stage 10
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Giro d’Italia, stage 12
Bradley Wiggins (Sky): Bayern Rundfahrt, stage four ITT
Geraint Thomas (Sky): Bayern Rundfahrt, overall
David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo): Giro d’Italia, stage 21 ITT

June
Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo): Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira, stage 3a ITT
Bradley Wiggins (Sky): Critérium du Dauphiné, overall

July
Nicole Cooke (MCippolini): Giro Donne, stage five
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Tour de France, stage five
Ian Stannard (Sky): Tour of Austria, stage five
Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo): Giro Donne, stage eight
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Tour de France, stage seven
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Tour de France, stage 11
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Tour de France, stage 15
Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo): Thuringen Rundfahrt, stage four
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Tour de France, stage 21
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Tour de France, points classification
Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo): Thuringen Rundfahrt, stage six
Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo): Thuringen Rundfahrt, points classification
Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo): Thuringen Rundfahrt, mountains classification

Chris Froome wins stage 17 of the Vuelta

August
Mark Cavendish (Great Britain): London-Surrey Cycle Classic (Olympic test event)
Mark McNally (An Post-Sean Kelly): La Mi-Août en Bretagne, overall
Alex Dowsett (Sky): Tour du Poitou Charentes, stage five

September
Chris Froome (Sky): Vuelta a Espana, stage 17
Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo): Tour de l’Ardeche, stage three
Simon Yates (Great Britain): Tour de l’Avenir, stage six
Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo): Tour de l’Ardeche overall
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Tour of Britain, stage one
Alex Dowsett (Sky): Tour of Britain, stage 8a ITT
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad): Tour of Britain, stage 8b
Geraint Thomas (Sky): Tour of Britain, points classification
Jonathan Tiernan Locke (Rapha Condor Sharp): Tour of Britain, mountains classification
Mark Cavendish (Great Britain): World Championship road race

Related links

British pros rack up 40 wins in 2010

  • William Hirst

    2011, best year for British cycle racing. So far.