The German sprinter benefited from a slick lead-out and proved the strongest sprinter

André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) took the sprint win on stage one of the 2016 Tour of Britain to take the first leader’s jersey. Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) followed over in second after he was unable to come round the German in the closing 100 metres.

The win puts Greipel in the first leader’s jersey of the race and bodes well for his preparations for the World Championships.

“It’s always nice to start of with a victory,” said Greipel. “We’re setting goals to win a stage and we’ve reached that on the first day. We can be happy.

“It’s not always easy to make a lead-out with six guys. We had to chase down the break and we did a good job to keep me up there in the last corner,” the Geramn champion continued.

“I had a really good lead-out until the final 150 metres with Marcel Sieberg and Jens Debusschere in front of me. Of course I’m happy to finish it off.”

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), who would have had his eye on the win, was not able to contest the finish after he was caught up in a crash on a sharp bend in the closing kilometre.

Crash on the final corner of #tourofbritain 😱

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The Manxman rode across the finish line and didn’t look too badly affected by the fall.

“I don’t know [what happened],” said Cavendish. “Next thing Elia [Viviani] was underneath me and I think he lost his front wheel.”

The British rider confirmed that’s he isn’t seriously injured, “I’m all right. I’ve hurt my arm a bit, but nothing is broken.”

The early break included five riders all looking for points in the subsidiary competitions, under the assumption that the WorldTour teams will scrap for overall honours.

Tom Moses (JLT-Condor), Pete Williams (One Pro), Johnny McEvoy (NFTO), Jasper Bovenhuis (An Post Chain Reaction) and Emiel Wastyn (An Post Chain Reaction) were all present at the head of the race, and at best their advantage went out to around three minutes before the chasing peloton began to reel them back in.

With the peloton charging them down, Wastyn tried to go solo and gained an advantage of about 20 seconds on his breakaway companions but they soon brought him back. All the while the peloton slowed its chase and left the group to dangle around 55 seconds up the road, before slowly bringing the gap down.


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In familiar style, Ian Stannard (Team Sky) spent much of the day on the sharp end of the chasing peloton, and that despite being visibly bloodied and bruised from an early fall. The Team Sky rider was assisted in the chase by LottoNL-Jumbo and Orica-BikeExchange as the breakaway’s lead dropped below 30 seconds with 20km left to race.

As a light rain started to fall, Wastyn reached out from the front group for a second time only to have the gap closed down almost straight away. The four other riders went straight past him, and Wastyn was the first to be caught by the peloton with 10.2km left to the finish.

The final catch was made with 9.6km to go and the sprinters’ teams began to organise themselves at the front.


The low down on the Tour of Britain


Result

Tour of Britain 2016, stage one: Glasgow – Castle Douglas, 168km

1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
3. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Giant Alpecin
4. Max Richeze (Arg) Etixx-Quick Step
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
7. Steele von Hoff (Aus) One Pro
8. Chris Latham (GBr) Team Wiggins
9. Dan McLay (GBr) Great Britain
10. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto-Soudal

General classification after stage one

1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
3. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Giant Alpecin
4. Max Richeze (Arg) Etixx-Quick Step
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
7. Steele von Hoff (Aus) One Pro
8. Chris Latham (GBr) Team Wiggins
9. Dan McLay (GBr) Great Britain
10. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto-Soudal