London ITT Announced

Tour of BritainSweetSpot Group, the organisers of The Tour of Britain (September 11-18) have announced that the final day’s racing in London will be a split-stage with the morning’s action featuring an Individual Time Trial, the first for six years. The 10k ITT will, like the afternoon’s closing circuit, start and end at Whitehall. Although a final line up of riders is some way off from being announced, it goes without saying that the inclusion of the Stage 8a ITT will clearly give the likes of Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) and SKY duo Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas a chance to become the first British winner since the event was rebooted in 2004.


Commenting on the announcement of the split-stage Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett says, “We are very excited about the route for the 2011 Tour of Britain, particularly with the inclusion of the final day time trial in the very heart of London.”


The confirmed stages now stand as:
Stage 1 (September 11) Peebles – Dumfries
Stage 2 (September 12) Kendal – Blackpool
Stage 3 (September 13) Stoke-on-Trent Circuit
Stage 4 (September 14) Welshpool – Caerphilly
Stage 5 (September 15) Exeter – Exmouth
Stage 6 (September 16) Taunton – Wells
Stage 7 (September 17) Bury St Edmunds – Sandringham

Stage 8a (September 18) London Individual Time Trial

Stage 8b (September 18) London Circuit



Triple Classic for Cavendish

With the kind of all-powering sprint finish that shows his superstar potential HTC-Highroad’s Mark Cavendish yesterday (Wednesday 6) took first place at the Scheldeprijs Classic. Despite having missed out for the last two years, this victory marks the Brit’s third win at the Belgium event – he took his first pro victory here in 2007, repeating his success in 2008 – and he now equals Piet Oellibrandt’s record number of wins for Scheldeprijs. It also sees Cavendish’s second win of the season after a similarly spectacular sprint finish at the Tour of Oman to beat out Denis Galimzyanov and Andrea Guardini in a time of 3:39:58. The Scheldeprijs Classic must have felt like déjà vu to Russian Galimzyanov (Katusha Team), with Cavendish yet again holding him off for second place.


A number of spectacular crashes have defined the race in recent years and Cavendish, to take nothing away from his success, was certainly helped out here this year with a wipe-out close to the finish that ended defending champion Tyler Farrar’s chances of success for Garmin-Cervélo.


With typically British reserve Cavendish summed up his victory with the understated: “I’m racing a lot this season and I’ve had some bad luck, so it’s good I can get the wins in too…My next race will be Paris-Roubaix and then I’ll build up for the Tour de France, with the Tour of Italy and the Tour de Suisse before then as well.”



Triple for Cavendish?

Speaking at the Giro d’Italia press conference in London, HTC-Highroad sprinter Mark Cavendish has confirmed that he intends to start all three Grand Tours (Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta a España) this season.


Having missed the 2010 Giro in favour of taking to the saddle at the Tour of Californian,

Cavendish returns to the event this year with hopes of repeating his 2009 opening stage success when he proudly became the first Briton to don the leader’s jersey. He made a successfully debut at the Vuelta last year and to date has made starts in seven Grand Tours with finishes in four of them. If Cavendish makes good on his intention to line up at Giro, Tour and Vuelta he stands a good chance of being the first rider to win stages at the trinity in a single year since Italian Alessandro Petacchi back in 2003.


Giro d’Italia: May 7 – 29

Tour de France: July 2 – 24
Vuelta a España: August 20 – September 11