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

2006 - Stage 1, Glasgow to Castle Douglas

After Monday night's Glasgow GP, won by Michael Morkov of Denmark, the riders rolled out in the direction of Castle Douglas who would welcome the race for the second consecutive year.

Denmark's Martin Pedersen won the opening stage, outsprinting his breakaway companions Luis Passamontes and Mathew Goss after four hours of racing over the Scottish countryside. The three had broken clear early in the day after just 15 miles, Passamontes was the instigator of the move which provoked a number of splits in the main bunch with only Pedersen and Goss making it across. As the main bunch sat up to regroup, the three pressed home their advantage, building a lead of over 10 minutes very quickly.

Into the streets of Castle Douglas the leaders began to jockey for position, almost reaching a standstill as each tried to force the others to lead out the sprint for the line. In the end it was Goss that launched the final sprint for the line but he appeared to have underestimated the severity of the uphill finish and in the end it was Pederson who claimed the victory and the first Yellow Jersey of the 2006 event.

1 Martin Pederson (Den) Team CSC
2 Luis Pasamontes (Esp)
3 Matt Goss (Aus) South

2006 - Stage 2, Blackpool to Liverpool

The North West seems to be almost a spiritual home for Roger Hammond as, for the second year running, it proved to be the venue for another morale boosting home stage win for the GB team.

The racing began almost immediately as the riders left Blackpool with the two leading riders on general classification fighting it out for valuable bonus seconds at the T-Mobile sprint in Pilling. Goss was the victor on that occasion following that up with more valuable bonuses in Southport and Thornton to give himself enough time to take the Yellow Jersey by a single second from overnight leader Pederson.

Whilst all this was happening the Peloton almost seemed to have forgotten that two riders had already escaped the main field, with Davitamon-Lotto's Johan Van Summeren and Bert Roesems slipping away early on and quickly gaining a lead of over 5 minutes.

A number of riders sought to use the climbs over Waddington Fell and the Trough of Bowland to springboard their way up to the leaders, most notably local rider Ben Greenwood who got to within a couple of minutes of the break before sitting up and returning to the main group.

As the riders headed west once again towards the coast a concerted chase spearheaded by Quick-Step and CSC quickly ended the hopes of Van Summeren and Roesems, swallowed up by a pack that could sense the possibility of a bunch finish in Liverpool. Van Summeren at least had the consolation of a visit to the podium at the end of the stage having amassed enough points to take over the lead in the King of the Mountains competition.

As the riders entered the outskirts of Liverpool it was the youthful Great Britain team that led the bunch, seeking to deliver Roger Hammond to the finish at the front of the bunch, sweeping up a late attack by Glasgow GP winner Morkov and Robin Sharman of in the process.

Into the last kilometre and it seemed that the effort from GB had been wasted as riders from Skil and Quick Step took over at the front, however their tenacious efforts ensured that Hammond was able to stay glued to the wheel of Tom Boonen as they entered the final bend.

Through the final bend it seemed that Boonen's lead out had misjudged the severity of the corner and overshot, nearly riding in to the barriers as Hammond slipped through on the inside and leapt up the short rise to the finish to take a hugely popular victory.

1 Roger Hammond (GBr) Great Britain
2 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Skil-Shimano
3 Russell Downing (GBr) DFL

2006 - Stage 3, Bradford to Sheffield

With the nearly 180 km to cover and the locally feared climbs of Broomhead and The Strines late in the stage, the third stage of the event between Bradford and Sheffield should, on paper at least, have been significant for the overall outcome of the event. On the day itself the stage lived up to its billing as the toughest of The Tour, not least because of the part the rain played in deciding the outcome.

As the riders lined up in Bradford's centenary square the weather was overcast but with breaks in the cloud it seemed that the weather may yet defy forecasts and turn out fine. World champion Tom Boonen certainly felt fine as he launched the first attack of the day before the riders had even reached the first climb of Leathley Bank on which the brisk pace set by Andy Schleck of CSC had more than a few riders dropped from the main field.

Intense chasing and the deteriorating weather saw the front two groups regroup and then splinter once again before finally being whittled down over the climbs of Broomhead and The Strines.

As the riders began the high speed approach to Sheffield it was Pozzato who crossed the line first ahead of World Time Trial Champion Michael Rogers and last year's overall victor Nick Nuyens.

The horrendous weather conditions and mountainous terrain on the day meant that the riders were well spread over almost 35 minutes by the end of the stage. On the day the early promise shown by Roger Hammond was washed away by the rain and it fell to Russell Downing to warm British hearts with a guts ride that was rewarded by an increased lead in the Green Jersey and the applause of his home crowd on the podium.

1 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic
2 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile
3 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic

2006 - Stage 4, Wolverhampton to Birmingham

The Midlands brought clear skies for the fourth stage of The Tour of Britain, starting for the first time in Wolverhampton before taking much of the beautiful Staffordshire countryside on route to a finish at Birmingham's Millennium Point.

Over the rolling roads that characterised the early part of the stage a group containing four British riders amongst a total of eight eventually slipped clear, quickly establishing a lead of over a minute as they sped along at speeds of up to 50 mph.

Through the picturesque villages of Haughton and Gnosall and on through the County town of Stafford the eight worked well together to maintain their lead before moving onto the heavier roads through Shugborough Hall and up onto Cannock Chase.

Over Cannock Chase the lead began to drop due to the combined efforts of the Barloworld squad, the gap dipping below the 3 minute mark for the first time. However, once the hills of the chase were behind them the group once again settled into their rhythm, maintaining their gap all the way to the outskirts of Birmingham.

Once into the suburbs of the countries second city, the attacks began and several times the leading eight split and regrouped before finally battling it out in the last 2km.

1 Frederik Willems (Bel) Chocolade Jacques
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile
3 Paul Manning (GBr) Landbouwkrediet Colnago

2006 - Stage 5, Rochester to Canterbury

The penultimate stage of the race took place in the South East in conditions that did little to spark any great enthusiasm for racing amongst the remaining riders in the race.

After a brief detour into a supermarket car park on the way out of Rochester it was left to the CSC team to drag the field through the beautiful Kent countryside on route to Canterbury.

Racing finally got underway in earnest on the final few miles of the stage, instigated mainly by the British teams and it was they who led the long strung out bunch into Canterbury where a large and appreciative crowd had waited patiently for a taste of what they could expect to see in July when the Tour de France comes to the UK again.

When the Tour de France visits in 2007, few will bet against a bunch finish in Canterbury and that is exactly what they got this time around. The final charge for the line was led by Ian Stannard of Great Britain but he was swamped by the greater fire power of teams such as T-Mobile and Quick-Step and so as they crossed the line it was Francesco Chicchi of Quick-Step who took the victory just ahead of Mark Cavendish who secured enough points to take the lead in the Green Jersey competition with just one day of racing to go to London.

1 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile
3 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Skil-Shimano

2006 - Stage 6, Greenwich to the Mall

The final stage of The Tour of Britain was an ambitious undertaking on the part of the organisers. After five days of gruelling racing down from Glasgow The Tour was scheduled to take a tour of the capital city, passing many of the great landmarks so familiar to people around the world.

The riders lined up in Greenwich Park at lunchtime, heading into the city to take in Tower Bridge, St Pauls, Highgate hill and constitution hill before sweeping onto the Mall where a huge crowd awaited the arrival of the peloton.
Breathtaking speed characterised the last few laps of the race with the riders being clocked at over 60kmph on the wind assisted straight up to the finish and it was the young riders of GB who once again impressed all by driving the Peloton towards the finish.

With two laps to go the jostling began for the finish with individuals and teams alike attempting to place riders in the front before the final gallop for the line, Team GB's Andy Tennant took one last massive turn on the front as the riders headed down the Mall to hear the bell for the start of the last lap.

Out of the final bend in front of Buckingham Palace it was Tom Boonen who had the upper hand.
No one looked like getting close to Boonen all the way to the line, Roger Hammond remained glued to his wheel but never looked likely to move forwards whilst Mark Cavendish once again impressed, coming from 10th place in the final bend to move up to third on the line and secure the final green jersey of the race.

Yellow Jersey Martin Pedersen remained safely tucked away in the Peloton and crossed the line safely to secure his first overall stage race victory since turning professional for team CSC.

1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic
2 Roger Hammond (GBr) Great Britain
3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile

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