Race: Tour of Britain, Stage 7
Start/Finish: Camberley/ Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Distance: 226.5 kilometers
Brighton, England — Saturday’s Stage 7 of the Friends Life Tour of Britain kicked off in the town of Camberley. The 226.5-kilometer route to Brighton served as the race’s longest stage. Team Novo Nordisk started with only five riders after Charles Planet was unable to take the start due to lingering effects from a crash on Stage 2. That didn’t damper spirits, and several Team Novo Nordisk riders were the first to attack following the neutral section. Unfortunately, the peloton wasn’t willing to let any of the team’s riders go. Eventually, a five-man break escaped and built a gap of nearly 10 minutes. Once inside the final 20-kilometers, Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) attacked his breakaway companions and set off solo. In an attempt to reel in the Belgian, the peloton upped its pace, causing it to splintering into several groups. Vermote soloed to the win with the main chase crossing nearly a minute and a half behind.
“Today was the longest day of the race, and I think the hardest day of the race,” Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias said. “I’ve been starting to feel a little better day by day, so I was finally able to be more in front today. There are still two stages left, so we will see.”
Results: Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) soloed to the win 23 seconds ahead of Ignatas Konovalovas (MTN-Qhubeka) and Dylan Van Baarle (Garmin Sharp). Van Baarle moved into the overall race lead and heads into the final day with a 19-second advantage.
Sunday’s final day of the Friends Life Tour of Britain is a double day, meaning it features both an individual time trial and road race. The day kicks off with a 8.8-kilometer race against clock followed by an afternoon 88.8-km circuit race around downtown London.
(Photo: ©Larry Wickmott)