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 8a
  • Stage 8b
The 2011 Tour of Britain got underway in front of large crowds in Peebles, setting the tone for a week in which spectators poured to the roadside to see many of the world's top cyclists racing in the country's biggest professional cycle race.

Russell Hampton and Pieter Ghyllebert were the early stars, going on the attack to take the new-for-2011 Skoda King of the Mountains and Yodel Sprints Jerseys respectively, before being caught on the wet run in to Dumfries.

This set things up perfectly for the HTC Highroad team of Tour de France Green Jersey Mark Cavendish. The team recorded a memorable 1-2 on the banks of the River Nith, their 500th victory in professional cycling, making Cavendish the first rider to pull on the new IG Markets Gold Jersey of race leader.

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC Highroad
2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC Highroad
3 Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank

For the first time in Tour of Britain history a stage had to be cancelled as the remnants of Hurricane Katia hit the coast of England's Northwest, battering the finish area on Blackpool Promenade as well as the many exposed spots en route from Kendal.

With racing impossible, riders performance two laps of Kendal town centre, before a convoy of team and Tour vehicles, led by the IG Markets Gold Jersey of Mark Cavendish, drove the race route from the South Lakeland area to Blackpool.

The popular Stoke-on-Trent Stage returned but fortunately the winds had died down, though they were still strong enough to prompt a race defining split in the picturesque Staffordshire Moorlands.

Starting from the beautiful backdrop of the Italian Gardens on the Trentham Estate the race headed through Yodel Sprints old (Stone) and new (Uttoxeter) before heading into the hilly Moorlands. Sky forced the pace in the crosswinds, splitting the race in two and narrowing the battle for the IG Markets Gold Jersey down.

Alex Dowsett attempted to escape but was caught as the race re-entered Stoke-on-Trent, with the Rabobank duo of Lars Boom and Michael Matthews proving too powerful for the six riders of Team Sky on the uphill finish into the city centre, with Boom taking over the race lead as a result of his win.

1 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling

Wales hosted a 'castle-to-castle' stage, with the National Trust's Powis Castle on the outskirts of Welshpool in Powys hosting the start before the peloton raced south to the finish outside Caerphilly Castle in South Wales.

A three man break containing Jack Bauer, Kristian House and the Yodel Sprints Jersey of Pieter Ghyllebert led for much of the stage through Newtown, Llandrindod Wells, Builth Wells, Brecon and Aberdare before being swept up.

Large crowds greeted the race atop the Skoda King of the Mountains climb of Brecon Beacons, with even larger numbers of fans awaiting The Tour on Caerphilly Mountain, the summit of which was less than five kilometres from the finish.

The steep slopes took their toll allowing an elite group of just over 20 riders to go clear, with World Champion Thor Hushovd taking the sprint outside Caerphilly Castle.

1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Garmin Cervelo
2 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
3 Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp

Clear blue skies and warm weather welcomed The Tour to Devon and the South West, as well as the biggest crowds yet on the 2011 route at both the start outside Exeter's cathedral and the finish on Exmouth's seafront.

A tough opening section to the stage saw local rider Jonathan Tiernan Locke put in an impressive ride across Dartmoor to conquer all three Skoda King of the Mountains climbs at Haytor, Coffin Stone and Huccaby Tor to wrest the green polka dot jersey from Russell Hampton.

Despite a strong group including Tiernan Locke, Linus Gerdemann, Michael Roger and Tour favourite Thomas De Gendt going clear through the Dartmoor National Park the race came back together on the run in to Exmouth, setting things up for a sprint finish.

In front of packed crowds on Exmouth's esplanade it was a reverse of the Stage One result, with Mark Renshaw taking victory ahead of teammate Mark Cavendish, in what appeared to be a thank you gesture from the British sprinter.

1 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC Highroad
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC Highroad
3 Robert Forster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare

Large South West crowds continued to greet The Tour as it raced through Somerset from Taunton to Wells, via the Somerset Levels and the Mendip Hills. A spectacular crash on the approach to the Yodel Sprint in Langport ended The Tour chances to top ten rider Ian Bibby, while injuries sustained by Geraint Thomas, wearing The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Jersey, would later put him out of contention on the Skoda King of the Mountains climb of Old Bristol Hill.

The world famous site of Cheddar Gorge was lined with spectators enjoying the good weather and a Friday afternoon off work as the race hit the hills, but it was the final Skoda King of the Mountains climb of the day up Old Bristol Hill where proceedings lit up.

Once again a medium size group went away, with all the contenders for the IG Markets Gold Jersey bar Thomas within it. Working well together the rolling finishing circuit back to Wells the group stayed away, with Lars Boom avoiding a final corner crash to take his second stage victory of the week and move into a commanding overall lead.

1 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
2 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar
3 Leopold Koenig (Cze) Team NetApp

After the popularity of The Tour of Britain's East Anglian stages in 2010, the race returned for a day split between Suffolk and Norfolk, heading from Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham.

After six days of trying, a break finally succeeded until the finish, with Gediminas Bagdonas, Ian Wilkinson, Mathieu Claude, Richard Handley, Stijn Neirynck and Wouter Sybrandy holding off the peloton across the 200 kilometre stage.

Passing through picturesque towns and villages and famous landmarks of the East Anglian countryside the six riders arrived in front of large crowds gathered on the Sandringham Estate to witness the country's biggest free to spectate live sporting event, with Lithuanian Bagdonas taking his, and his teams, first ever Tour of Britain win.

Meanwhile there was disappointment for Endura Racing, with Ian Wilkinson narrowly missing out on what would have been a historic first win for a domestic trade team in The Tour.

1 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AN Post Sean Kelly
2 Ian Wilkinson (GBr) Endura Racing
3 Mathieu Claude (Fra) Team Europcar

The Tour of Britain returned to central London for a grand final day consisting of two stages held on the iconic circuit at the heart of the capital. The individual time trial made a welcome return to The Tour after a six year absence for an 8.8 kilometre test.

Dutch rider Lieuwe Westra set the early pace, but British Time Trial Champion Alex Dowsett went five seconds quicker to secure his first ever Tour of Britain stage win, and the first of 2011 for Team Sky.

It was a successful morning for the British World Tour team, with Steve Cummings using the test against the clock to finish fourth and move up to second overall, while Geraint Thomas and treble World Time Trial Champion Michael Rogers also recorded top ten finishes.

There was no stopping Rabobank's Lars Boom, a former Under-23 World Time Trial Champion, who took second on the stage to cement the IG Markets Gold Jersey on his shoulders.

1 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling
2 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
3 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil DCM

The 2011 Tour of Britain finished off with the traditional closing circuit race, held over ten laps of the iconic London circuit before the grand finale on Whitehall.

AN Post's Ronan McLaughlin attacked from the flag and was joined by Kristian House, with the two riders spending the majority of the race at the fore, in front of the central London crowds.

A late shower couldn't deter the HTC Highroad led peloton though, with Mark Cavendish taking an impressive win despite only coming through the final corner fifth. Less than a week later Mark would be celebrating another sprint success, this time in Copenhagen, which saw him crowned World Champion.

There was no change in the overall classification, with Lars Boom taking the final IG Markets Gold Jersey ahead of Steve Cummings, who repeated his 2008 performance of second overall and top Brit.

There was some British success though, with Geraint Thomas' consistency earning him The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Jersey and Jonathan Tiernan Locke's climbing prowess adding the Skoda King of the Mountains Jersey to his fifth overall.

Belgian riders took both the Yodel Sprints competition (Pieter Ghyllebert) and the UNISON Best Young Rider classification (Jelle Wallays), while Sky lead a UCI World Tour one-two-three in the team's category.

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC Highroad
2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC Highroad
3 Robert Forster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare

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