Tour of Britain

Lars Boom wins the 2011 Tour of Britain

Photo: courtesy
Guy Dedieu

Photo: courtesy
Guy Dedieu

Alex Dowsett and Mark Cavendish both claimed victory in London as the Tour of Britain finished with a double stage, while Lars Boom sealed overall victory.

Dowsett (Team Sky) clocked ten minutes, 14 seconds over the 8.8km time trial course, while Boom (Rabobank) finished five seconds adrift in second, with Vacansoleil-DCM’s Lieuwe Westra registering the same time.

And Dutchman Boom safely negotiated the afternoon criterium to confirm his overall triumph, with Cavendish and Mark Renshaw taking a HTC-Highroad one-two, with Robert Forster (United Healthcare) third.

Team Sky’s Steve Cummings finished second behind Boom in the final general classification, 36 seconds adrift, while Jan Barta (NetApp) completed the podium, a further 19 seconds back.

“It was awesome,” said Boom. London is a very nice city. It’s a lovely country, I didn’t expect that. The public was awesome, a lot of cheering so it was a great week for us.

“My most memorable moment was the first stage, the circuit, the small roads, the rain – it was awesome.”

Boom started the time trial as favourite but newly-crowned British time trial champion Dowsett romped to victory to claim his second victory of the season after winning stage five of last month’s Tour du Poitou-Charentes.

“Everything just clicked,” said Dowsett. “I recceed the course twice and even when I got up this morning I knew that my legs weren’t going to feel as bad as they had done the last few days.

“It’s been a hard tour for all of us, always trying to put Lars Boom on the back foot so we’ve been attacking all the time and it takes it out of you.

“It’s amazing; it’s one of those things I would hopefully tell my children in years to come. It’s going to take a while to sink in. London has been pretty kind to me, it’s amazing. This means a lot to the team. Especially to be in London and pull off a stage win.”

Boom added: “I wanted to win this morning, I felt confident on the halfway so I lost a little bit.”

That just left the Tour of Britain’s finale, a 90km criterium on a circuit that took in Westminster and the Embankment, with Cavendish fine-tuning his World Championship preparations by claiming his second victory of the race after triumphing on stage one.

“I didn’t want to take too many risks with the worlds coming up,” said Cavendish. “It was a wet finish and I saw [Ben] Swift lose his wheel on the second last corner so I backed off on the last corner and ended up 20 metres behind.

“I thought it was too far back to get it but I went for it anyway and I came through on the line.

“It’s been perfect preparation for me for [the worlds] next week. The Vuelta looked too hard with too many crashes. I was able to control my training and I won two stages which was good.”

Sky’s Geraint Thomas finished fourth in the bunch sprint to win the points classification, while Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Rapha Condor Sharp) was crowned King of the Mountains and claimed fifth place overall, while Pieter Ghyllebert (An Post) won the sprints classification.

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