Tour of Britain

3rd -10th September 2017

Friends Life Tour of Britain
Friends Life Tour of Britain
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
  • Stage 5
  • Stage 6
  • Stage 7
  • Stage 8

2008 - Stage 1, The TfL London Stage

Ten laps of an iconic central London circuit kicked off the 2008 race, with Italian rider Danilo Di Luca doing his best to stay clear of a fast moving peloton. The LPR rider was eventually reeled in, setting up an exciting bunch finish that saw his teammate Alessandro Petacchi bounce back from a ban with victory in a hotly contested sprint on the Victoria Embankment.

1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan
2 Rob Hayles (GBr) Great Britain
3 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Team Garmin - Chipotle

2008 - Stage 2, Milton Keynes to Newbury

A frantic and fast paced early few kilometres took the peloton out of Milton Keynes and across Buckinghamshire, as several groups established small leads before being swept up by the bunch.

Eventually it was Great Britain's Ian Stannard who escaped alone just after Aylesbury, tackling the day's big climb of Streatley Hill by himself, with just the large crowds at the roadside for company.

The rolling roads had taken their toll on the Brit's legs, and he was caught as the peloton closed on Newbury, setting up another fast finish in the Berkshire market town, from which Australian Matt Goss emerged to take his second every Tour of Britain stage win, at the head of an Antipodean 1-2-3.

1 Matt Goss (Aus) Team CSC Saxo Bank
2 Julian Dean (NZl) Team Garmin - Chipotle
3 Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Garmin - Chipotle

2008 - Stage 3, Chard to Burnham-on-Sea

Somerset once again provided the hardest day of the race, a leg made even harder by the poor weather conditions that greeted the riders in the South West.

Heavy rain accompanied the race as it left Chard and made its way through Somerset and Devon towards Tiverton where large crowds greeted the riders, at the time led by a small group of escapees who were caught in the town centre.

Agritubel rider Geoffroy Lequatre then escaped, embarking on a long lone break that took him across the tops of Exmoor, taking on the numerous climbs that littered the route.

Behind the Frenchman the main field was breaking up into several groups, the first of which contain Brits Steve Cummings and Daniel Fleeman, who eventually joined up with Lequatre outside Dunster.
The lead group was then swelled by further riders as they passed the crowds on Cothelstone Hill, but it was on the flat, wide roads between Bridgwater and Burnham that one of them, Emilien Berges, escaped, to win by 30 seconds and don the Yellow Jersey.

Berges looked comfortable in yellow, but was he set to emulate teammate Romain Feillu's victory a year previously?

1 Emilien Berges (Fra) Agritubel
2 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel
3 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan

2008 - Stage 4, Worcester to Stoke-on-Trent

The Tour of Britain returned to Worcester for a stage start for the second successive year, but due to the flooding that had hit the area, a last minute change saw the start moved just down the road from the racecourse.

Clear blue skies greeted the peloton as it ran out of town through Worcestershire towards Wolverhampton. The story of the day was a large break that formed on the first King of the Mountains climb of the day, containing among others the British trio of Ben Swift, Rob Hayles and David Millar.

Once again many schools lined the route through Wolverhampton, Ironbridge, Telford and Stone as the race neared the finish.

With the gap to the lead group descending rapidly, the race passed by Wedgwood and it was here that Berges' hopes of overall victory were shattered, as the Agritubel rider punctured.

Despite the helps of a trio of teammates, including reigning champion Feillu, Berges couldn't quite catch the back of the speeding peloton, losing his yellow jersey as ahead Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen jumped clear of the break to catch and pass leader Giairo Ermeti just metres from the line.

Behind them Tuesday's hero Lequatre moved into yellow to maintain Agritubel's grip on the race lead.

1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia
2 Giairo Ermeti (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan

2008 - Stage 5, Hull to Dalby Forest

Another tough stage welcomed the riders to Yorkshire, with a slight detour into North Lincolnshire early on in the day courtesy of two passages of the Humber Bridge.

Once back into Yorkshire a break of three riders (Goss, Di Luca and Travis Meyer) was joined by Wednesday's winner Hagen and Rock Racing's Victor Hugo Pena as the race passed through Beverley.

As the route followed the Yorkshire coast the five riders maintain their advantage, turning inland at Scarborough to pass onto the hilly finale. On the narrow, constantly ascending and descending roads of Dalby Forest the break's lead was narrowed, but the splitting peloton couldn't quite make the junction, allowing a fast finishing Hagen to take his second victory of the race, while behind him a frustrated Di Luca finished third for the second consecutive day.

1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia
2 Matt Goss (Aus) Team CSC Saxo Bank
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan

2008 - Stage 6, Darlington to Newcastle-Gateshead

Massive crowds greeted The Tour of Britain's first visit to Darlington and the North East, with plenty of children turning out to wave the race off from the town's Market Square.

The day's route took the peloton first east, and then west through Durham and out into the beautiful countryside of the North East, crossing the River Tyne and Hadrian's Wall with the race being headed by a four man break of Bradley McGee, Evan Oliphant, Peter Williams and Diego Caccia.

Caccia was the first to go, crashing on a corner in the damp conditions along the North Sea coast, before just McGee and Williams left as each tried to hold off the peloton with big attacks.

As the race progressed through Newcastle it all came back together, setting up an exciting sprint finish for the crowds who had waited in the rain to see the riders.

Adding victory on the banks of the Tyne to his win next to the Thames was Petacchi, who'd go on to win next to another famous river just day's later, while behind him Hayles came 2nd once more, with double stage winner Hagen once again in the top three.

1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan
2 Rob Hayles (GBr) Great Britain
3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia

2008 - Stage 7, Glasgow to Drumlanrig Castle

The Saturday of the race saw the Scottish stage of The Tour, kicking off from Glasgow Green, scene of Paul Manning's win 12 months previously.

With Geoffroy Lequatre leading by just six seconds from Steve Cummings, the scene looked set for a titanic showdown in the Southern Uplands.

Several early breaks tried to establish a lead, but were considered too dangerous to the overall to be given an advantage. Eventually a group of seven went clear, and maintained their advantage to the finish at the stunning setting of Drumlanrig Castle, where Norwegian Hagen once again showed his phenomenal speed to blast past his breakaway companions to seal a hattrick of victories.

Behind them, Cummings tried to distance Lequatre of the climb of Mennock Pass, but despite building nearly a 30 second gap at the summit, he couldn't maintain the advantage on the long run down to Drumlanrig.

Thus for the second year running, The Tour of Britain was wide open going into the final stage.

1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia
2 Matt Goss (Aus) Team CSC Saxo Bank
3 Daryl Impey (RSA) Barloworld

2008 - Stage 8, Blackpool to Liverpool

As in 2007, the final day was going to be all about the time bonuses available at the Hot Spot Sprints as Wirral rider Steve Cummings tried to take victory in his home Tour.

Sunny skies greeted The Tour for its third visit to Blackpool, as the peloton enjoyed a slight lie in due to the shorter nature of the final stage. Despite a relaxed, end-of-term atmosphere at the start, the attacks were soon going in on the flat coastal roads that marked the run down to Liverpool.

Eventually a three man group of Malcolm Elliott, Magnus Backstedt and Dean Downing went clear, leading The Tour of Britain onto the circuit around the centre of European Capital of Culture, Liverpool.

With six laps of the fast circuit to round of the race, the trio didn't last long off the front, as the races' sprinters looked for one final chance to do battle.

At the front too were the Brits, as Cummings and Stannard both pinched bonus seconds at the Hot Spot Sprint beneath the Liver Building, but thanks to the vigilance of Lequatre, the Barloworld rider couldn't narrow the gap any further.

Cummings final chance of taking victory came at the final sprint, but there was no stopping Alessandro Petacchi, as he joined Edvald Boasson Hagen on three stage victories by taking the win in Liverpool.

Behind the LPR rider, Lequatre rolled home safely in the bunch, securing him the final Yellow Jersey, and ensuring that Agritubel win The Tour of Britain for the second successive year. Can they make it three in '09?

1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan
2 Julian Dean (NZl) Team Garmin - Chipotle
3 Robbie Hunter (RSA) Barloworld

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