Riders are forced to take public transport to Heathrow Airport after stage eight of the Tour of Britain

Not much went well for Andre Greipel after he crossed the finish line on stage eight of the Tour of Britain.

Having crossed the line first, Greipel was soon relegated for deviating from his sprinting line and moving Team Sky’s Elia Viviani toward the barriers.

Then, with flights out of the country reportedly booked quite soon after the finish time, Greipel and other riders were forced to take the London Underground to Heathrow Airport.

Riders stayed Saturday night at a hotel near the airport, meaning they had to travel around the Capital after stage seven, which finished in Ipswich. This transfer caused consternation among some riders, including Greipel.

LottoNL-Jumbo rider Steven Kruijswijk, who finished seventh overall, tweeted a picture of riders on the Tube, with Greipel just visible on the left of the picture through the arm of the chap in the brown jacket.

The tall guy, presumably, is Greipel’s leadout man Marcel Sieberg who stands at 1.98m and somehow managed to stand upright in the cramped carriage.

Greipel doesn’t look in a particularly good mood, from what you can see from his face. Let’s hope he didn’t forget his passport…

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Oh my goodness, how did I miss this article?

    Probably because it didn’t sound interesting. They HAD to take the underground??? You mean the self same underground that millions take every day of the week to go to and from work???

    My heart bleeds for you guys.

  • Gary Jogela

    I’m not confused.you can dream all you want about the future of big time bike racing in Britain.I’ll let you get on with it.As knowledgeable as he is David Millar doesn’t half go on.Give me the Liggett and Sherwen show anytime.

  • RobTM

    No, taking a competing rider into the barriers is dangerous and subject to penalty

  • RobTM

    I think you’re confusing culture, with liking bike racing as a mass audience sport. The fact is events are heavily supported with people watching, like a Marathon. Football is the proven earner and gets the Lion’s share of media time. Hopefully more informative coverage, by people like David Millar, will explain the tactics better to interest a greater audience.

  • Gary Jogela

    Whether you like to admit it to yourself or not culture has a lot to do with it.a lot of people don’t bother to find out how bike racing works and it’s possible many will go to see a race only to see riders they perceive to be celebrities.

  • RobTM

    Hardly.. bike racing needs to be more popular to gain mainstream priority like it is in the continent. Nothing cultural about it what so ever, as many successful events have proven.
    As is.. a stage race is going to involve compromises, but there’s general political support for events, a race has to grow organically.

  • Gary Jogela

    Essentially you agree then.

  • RobTM

    I suppose British culture prevents having a world leading Marathon to… or the Olympic games?
    The real issue, is minority sport audiences mean low level commercial sponsorship and coverage, so a stage race has to fit around many other priorities. We don’t either have the modern resorts and large hotels, of France or Spain, bike racing in the day time in the week, dislocates a city that has less incentive for publicity by putting on a show

  • RobTM

    Better than being taken out by motorbikes

  • Gary Jogela

    It’s British culture that prevents big races being a massive success long term.The powers that be still see bike racing as a bit of a quirky alternative sport.
    They ought to take into account that these bike racers are human and don’t just beam down back home following a race

  • J1

    Who booked the flights though? That’s who’s messed up.

  • J1

    No, it was a rare deviation from Greipel.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    Untold travelling between stages ,travelling by tube and Greipel wrongly stripped of a stage win what a farce I would not blame his team if they never come the UK again.

  • Hassan Sharrif

    fair it wasn’t

  • David Simons

    It was Greipel’s win fair and square, wasn’t it though?

  • David Bassett

    From someone who loves to see Elia Viviani win I don’t think Andre Greipel should have been penalised Viviani a very fast sprinter puts himself into bad positions at the finish. That is most probably why he is so exciting to watch. If Cav had seen him on the first stage he would have gone to his left and shut the door on Viviani.
    A hard one to call.
    I do hope we see Andre Greipel back in the U.K. again.