- Tour of Britain, Stage One
Viviani wins first stage, Cavendish and Wiggins safeESPN staff September 15, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Wenger concerned over Arsenal injury list »
Elia Viviani won the first stage of the Tour of Britain for the Cannondale team after a well-timed sprint finish, but Mark Cavendish failed to challenge in the closing metres.
Cavendish was caught between riders in the final straight to the line and had to settle for 12th place. Team Sky's Sir Bradley Wiggins finished 37th and Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana ended down in 51st place.
Several riders crashed in the foray towards the line, but Viviani was well clear before edging Cavendish's Omega-Pharma team-mate Alessandro Petacchi and Gerald Ciolek at the end of the 201 kilometre stretch from Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle.
Race rules state that any group of riders who enter the last three kilometres together will lose time if there is a crash after that point, meaning many of the frontrunners were awarded the same time for the stage.
Wiggins will begin Stage Two on Monday nine seconds off Viviani's lead.
The 114-strong field began the journey to Whitehall in persistent drizzle, as five riders broke away to establish a five minute lead over the chasing pack.
After completing 100km in strong winds and rain, the lead group's advantage was cut down to one minute 30 seconds as they approached the Dumfries, where sun and drier roads welcomed the field.
Sojasun's Anthony Delaplace made a break from the peloton inside the final 50km, before catching and passing the lead group. However, Delaplace was caught with 14km left to go as the five original leaders joined the rest of the peloton.
Wiggins picked up an extra second after crossing the line in third at the intermediate sprint. Fellow Brit Alex Dowsett (Movistar) made a break with 12km to go, but was soon reeled in.
Team Sky continued to control the pace at the front, but ultimately to no avail. Petacchi moved into position for team-mate Cavendish, but the Brit failed to get himself involved as Viviani pipped Ciolek at the line.
Stage Two will see the field make a 186.6km trip from Carlisle to Kendal.
Tour of Britain Stage One result
1. Elia Vivani (Ita) Cannondale 6hr 04mins 43secs
2. Alessandro Pettachi (Ita) Omega Pharma - same time
3. Gerard Ciolek (Ger) MTN Qhubeka
4. Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardani
5. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM
General Classification after Stage One
1. Elia Vivani (Ita) Cannondale 6hr 04mins 33secs
2. Alessandro Pettachi (Ita) Omega Pharma +4secs
3. Gerard Ciolek (Ger) MTN Qhubeka +6secs
4. Aaron Gate (GB) An Post Chain Reaction
5. Christophe Laborie (Fra) Sojasun
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