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Kittel Wins Tour of Britain Opener

Tour of BritainMarcel Kittel has won the opening stage of the Tour of Britain with a sprint finish at the conclusion of the eight-lap, 104.8km start in Liverpool, narrowly beating Nicola Ruffoni into second and Mark Cavendish into third. Team Giant-Shimanoís Kittel, who won two of the Grand Depart stages of this yearís Tour de France finished in 2h 16í35Ē commenting: ĎIt was really messy at the finish Ė itís always difficult when you have a downhill section in the final kilometre as it becomes really fast and harder to hold position… Itís good to win the first stage. Itís really nice to see the reaction of the spectators here Ė a lot of people came out to the race today.í

 

Cavendish was, in many respects, lucky to take a podium place at all having crashed into a car at just under the 105k point prompting flash-backs of his disastrous Tour de France opener. The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider said of the accident: ĎI had to change my cleats in the beginning of the stage; I was coming back after and I was behind a car. Someone had to stop for a puncture so the car slammed on its brakes, and there was an island in the road. If I went right, I would hit a traffic island, so I went left and I whacked another car. I hit it with my left leg and I was down on the road. I felt immediately a lot of pain on my quadriceps. It took me a lap to come back even because our team car couldn’t assist me immediately because it was on the front.í

 

Defending Tour of Britain champion Bradley Wiggins, hoping to become the first rider to win successive titles since the race was reintroduced in 2004, finished in the peloton in 74th place.

 

The Tour of Britain continues today with the 200.8k stage from Knowsley to Llandudno. Full details at tourofbritain.co.uk

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Wiggins to Lead Sky at Tour of Britain

Sky Tour of BritainTeam Sky have announced that Sir Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Skyís squad at the 2014 Tour of Britain, which begins in Liverpool on Sunday September 7. Wiggins returns to the Tour of Britain after winning the race in 2013 and this year he will line up alongside fellow British riders Ian Stannard and Ben Swift as part of a six-man squad. The full Team Sky squad for the 2014 Tour of Britain will be: Bradley Wiggins, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Bernhard Eisel, Sebastian Henaoa and David Lopez.

 

Wiggins comments on the event: ĎThe Tour of Britain is a special race for me so to be returning as defending champion is a real honour. Itís always been a tough race but the support we receive from the fans is incredible, and itís our home tour so Iíve always enjoyed racing it…. From the start of the year itís always been a goal of mine to race to the Tour of Britain. The race is growing in stature year on year and itís our chance to go there with a strong team and race in front of home fans to thank them for their support over the season.í

 

The 2014 Tour of Britain starts in Liverpool and finishes in London on Sunday September 14, taking in eight stages along the way. September 7 also sees Sky hosting the first ever Sky Ride Liverpool event, where cyclists of all ages and abilities are able to enjoy a fun day of cycling through a traffic-free route in the city centre, which is free for all to enter.

 

Further details on the Tour of Britain at tourofbritain.co.uk and on Sky Ride Liverpool at goskyride.com

 

Further information on Wiggins and Team Sky at teamsky.com