Newly-crowned British time trial champion Alex Dowsett gave Sky its first stage win at the 2011 Tour of Britain, sensationally winning the morning individual time trial in London on Sunday.
Overall leader Lars Boom (Rabobank) had been widely tipped to take the stage win, but it was the young Brit who set the fastest time of 10-14 around the 8.8km course around Westminster and the Embankment.
“Everything just clicked,” said Dowsett after his win. “I recceed the course twice and even when I got up this morning I knew that my legs weren’t going to feel as bad as they had done the last few days.
“It’s been a hard tour for all of us, always trying to put Lars Boom on the back foot so we’ve been attacking all the time and it takes it out of you.
“It’s amazing. It’s one of those things I would hopefully tell my children in years to come. It’s going to take a while to sink in. London has been pretty kind to me, it’s amazing.”
Boom finished in second spot, five seconds adrift of Dowsett, to cement his position at the top of the overall classification. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) came third.
With just the afternoon’s 90km criterium stage to go, Boom has all but won the 2011 race.
Dowsett’s Sky team-mate Steve Cummings placed fourth to move up to second overall, 36 seconds behind Boom. Geraint Thomas (Sky) placed fifth on the stage to give Sky three riders in the top five.
Having spent Saturday’s stage in an all-day escape group, Ian Wilkinson (Endura) finished outside the time cut along with his German team-mate Paul Voss and Raleigh’s Dan Fleeman.
Tour of Britain 2011, stage 8a: London to London ITT, 8.8km
1. Alex Dowsett (GB) Sky in 10-14
2. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank at 5 secs
3. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 5 secs
4. Steve Cummings (GB) Sky at 9 secs
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 16 secs
6. Alexander Wetterhall (Swe) Endura at 19 secs
7. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky at 19 secs
8. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Garmin-Cervelo at 23 secs
9. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar at 25 secs
10. Joost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard-Trek at 26 secs
Overall classification after stage 8a
1. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
2. Steve Cummings (GB) Sky at 36 secs
3. Jan Barta (Cze) NetApp at 56 secs
4. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Leopard-Trek at 57 secs
5. Leopold Koenig (Cze) NetApp at 1-01
6. Jonathan Tiernan Locke (GB) Rapha Condor Sharp at 1-03
7. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen at 1-12
8. Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Endura at 1-12
9. Joost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard-Trek at 1-13
10. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-25
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