Team Columbia-HTC sealed overall victory at the Tour of Britain on Saturday when the race ended in the centre of London. It was the team’s 82nd win of the 2009 season.
Race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen finished safely in the peloton at the end of the final 92km stage.
The Norwegian won overall by 23 seconds after taking four of the eight stages. Australia’s Chris Sutton (Garmin-Slipstream) finished second and Germany’s Martin Reimer (Cervelo) was third. Italy’s Michele Merlo (Barloworld) won the final stage in a sprint.
“It’s really good to win this race after all the hard work by the team. I’m really happy for me and for them,” Boasson Hagen said.
“This is my second stage win this year. I didn’t expect to win four stages and so it’s been a fantastic week. It was amazing to win in the centre of London because there were huge crowds.”
Team Columbia-HTC sent a powerful squad to the Tour of Britain that included Thomas Lovkvist, Tony Martin, Kim Kirchen, Gert Dockx and Maxime Monfort. They sacrificed their chances to help Boasson Hagen win.
“It’s been a great race for us with the stage victories and overall success,” directeur sportif Valerio Piva said.
“All the guys worked a lot to defend the lead and they are tired but we deserved to win the race. I think it’s fair to say we were the strongest team in the race.”
The Team Columbia-HTC riders will now focus on this week’s world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland (September 23-27).
Boasson Hagen will compete for Norway in both the men’s time trial on Thursday (September 24) and the men’s road race on Sunday (September 27).
Britain’s top finisher was Russell Downing (CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta) in fifth overall. Downing and Boasson Hagen will be team-mates on the new Sky squad in 2010.
Tour of Britain 2009: Stage eight, Westminster, London, 92.5km
1. Michele Merlo (Ita) Barloworld in 1-56-55
2. Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
3. Chris Sutton (Aus) Garmin-Slipstream
4. Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD-Neri
5. Robert Hayles (GB) Halfords Bikehut
6. Russell Downing (GB) CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta
7. Reiner Honig (Ned) Vacansoleil
8. Peter Williams (GB) CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta
9. Malcolm Elliott (GB) CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta
10. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha all same time.
Final overall classification
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Columbia-HTC
2. Chris Sutton (Aus) Garmin-Slipstream at 23sec
3. Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo at 25sec
4. Kai Reus (Ned) Rabobank at 26sec
5. Russell Downing (GB) CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta at 39sec
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Barloworld at 43sec
7. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel at 43sec
8. Simon Clarke (Aus) ISD-Neri at 47sec
9. Reiner Honig (Ned) Vacansoleil at 49sec
10. Kristian House (GB) Rapha-Condor at 49sec
Big crowds packed Embankment on a perfect autumn day
Michele Merlo takes the final stage in London
Tour of Britain 2009: Related links
Stage seven: Swift wins ToB stage to Yeovil
Stage six: Boasson Hagen makes it four
Stage five: Boasson Hagen takes control
Stage four: Boasson Hagen makes it two
Stage three: Hagen does it again
Stage two: Dutchman Reus wins second stage at Tour of Britain
Stage one: Sutton wins opening stage of ToB
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