The Scottish city Glasgow hosted the start of the opening stage of the Tour of Britain. Five riders managed to set up the breakaway of the day after six kilometres. They had a stable gap of almost three minutes. With ten kilometres to go, the sprint teams caught the escapees. It were Lotto Soudal and Trek-Segafredo that set a high pace in the peloton. André Greipel finished off the teamwork and won the sprint in Castle Douglas ahead of Ewan and Sinkeldam. The German champion is also the first leader of the general classification. Jens Debusschere finished tenth in the sprint.
André Greipel: “Based on the profile, today’s stage was the easiest one of the week. There were five riders in the breakaway, but they weren’t a threat. Our trainee James Shaw did a lot of work together with the riders of Lotto NL Jumbo, Dimension Data and Team Sky. As we’re here with teams of only six riders, it’s difficult to control the race. For us it was important to be in the front of the peloton in the finale. We managed to set up a perfect lead-out: Gallopin and De Buyst prepared us for the sprint while Sieberg and Debusschere gave everything they had in the last kilometre. With five hundred metres to go there was a sharp curve and we had to be in front by then. What followed was a slightly uphill finish. Everyone did a perfect job which is very important when you race with small teams.”
“Before the Tour of Britain I had a very long training period so I had to wait and see how I was doing. This victory is very pleasant if you just get back in competition and it gives a confidence boost also because there are a lot of strong sprinters in the peloton.There are several hard stages to come and I don’t know if and when we’ll be able to sprint again. We’re only with six riders so it’s hard to control the race and because the route is never flat tomorrow it will be even more difficult. With thirty kilometres to go we still have a hard climb to cover with four hundred elevation metres and after that there is the hilly finish. We’ll have to see how the race evolves because it’s a course that should suit Gallopin really well too.
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