Riders both young and old(er) moved into the consciousness of the casual cycling fans at the Tour of Britain with some impressive performances
When you sign with a WorldTour team as a trainee for the final months of the season you may get a chance to play domestique for a couple of races, but Jacopo Mosca really took advantage of his position at the Tour of Britain.
The Italian, who turned 23 at the end of August, is in his second race for Trek-Segafredo, having debuted at the Tour of Utah last month. His consistency on the British roads propelled the youngster into 10th overall in the general classification.
Tenth on stage two was impressive, but 11th on the stage to Haytor on Friday was arguably his best ride, staying with the experienced WorldTour riders until the very end to finish 30 seconds behind Wout Poels.
Xandro Meurisse, 24, only moved up one division when he signed as a stagiaire with Pro Continental team Wanty-Groupe Gobert, but he rode like a WorldTour rider at the Tour of Britian.
It initially seemed like the Belgian was simply going for the mountains classification, but in the process worked his way into the top 10 overall with some solid performances.
Fourth on stage two was a sign of what was to come, with the former Crelan-Vastgoedservice rider finishing fifth on Haytor and mixing it with the sprinters by finishing sixth in the Bristol criterium.
Meurisse did hold on to the mountains jersey by a full 18 points from Sky’s Nicolas Roche and we’ll be seeing a lot more of him next year, having signed a two year contract with Wanty.
Riders from the domestic British teams often get themselves in the breakaway for a bit of exposure for the sponsors at the Tour of Britain, but Erick Rowsell was one of the ones who actually took it to the WorldTour riders he was riding with.
Out in the break on stage five to Bath, Madison-Genesis‘s Rowsell – brother of double Olympic champion Joanna – worked well with stage winner Jack Bauer and Amael Moinard to ensure that the breakaway stayed away to the end.
It only just made it, though, with Rowsell squeaking over ahead of Caleb Ewan for third place. Then the following day, instead of giving his legs a break he was up there with the big boys again at the end of the tough stage to Haytor, finishing ninth on the stage.
Graham Briggs and Kristian House
It seems odd to say that two stalwarts of British domestic cycling ‘made their name’ at the ages of 33 and 36 respectively, but Graham Briggs and Kristian House sprung into the consciousness of the casual cycling fans with their rides on stage three.
Both riders are among the most well known and most popular on the domestic circuit, with multiple Tour Series and National Road Series, and a even a national championship title for House, but finishing second and third to Ian Stannard in Tatton Park will have boosted their name recognition somewhat with the masses.
The pair made it into the breakaway with Stannard on the stage from Congleton and stayed with the Team Sky powerhouse until the final 40km, when Yogi put the hammer down to take the win.
Rather than easing up and getting caught by the peloton, Briggs and House worked well together to reach Tatton Park well ahead of the pack to fight it out for the other two podium places – a fight that the relative youngster, Briggs, won by a head.