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Tour of Britain 2018 Stage 8: Julian Alaphilippe wins OVO Energy Tour of Britain as Caleb Ewan wins final stage

Alaphilippe wins OVO Energy Tour of Britain as Caleb Ewan takes stage victory on the streets of London

Peter Stuart
9 Sep 2018

Caleb Ewan of Mitchelton Scott took a thrilling sprint victory on the streets of London on the final stage of Tour of Britain, pipping Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) to 2nd with Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) finishing in 3rd, while Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) takes overall victory.

Alaphilippe finished in the main group, which secured his overall victory with a margin of 17 seconds to Wout Poels of Team Sky.

The main peloton was upset only briefly, by an impressive solo break from Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky), who led the field solo until an eager peloton vying for the intermediate sprint caught him with 11km to go. 

British rider Alex Paton (Canyon Eisenberg) injected some late excitement to the race as he won the final Eisenberg intermediate Wine sprint against Matt Holmes of Madison Genesis, who fought impressively at the front of the peloton for much of the race, and also came in second in the KOM classification.

Following the intermediate sprint and the end of Kiryienka's attack, it seemed sure that the race would come down to a mass sprint.

Lead out trains from Quickstep, Lotto Soudal and Mitchelton Scott lined up alonsgside each other, and Mitchelton Scott's Caleb Ewan looked certain to win as Mitchelton riders led 500m from the finish, with Gaviria and Greipel failing to present any serious threat.

Patrick Bevin of Team BMC took the sprinter's jersey, while Nic Dlamini of Team Dimension Data took the King of the Mountains classification win. Lotto NL-Jumbo took the team classification win.

How the stage unfolded

On the tight, flat and criterium like streets of London, a breakaway was unlikely to be successful from the outset. The stage was 77km long, and had no challenges in terms of ascent or terrain that would be likely to fragment the group – only a handful of intermediate sprints.

After 13km of racing, some excitement came as Geraint Thomas attempted to bridge to a small breakaway. He made the bridge, but unsurprisingly the peloton would not allow it to stick, and the group was reeled in.

Team Sky continued to animate the race. A break of Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Conor Swift (Madison Genesis) and Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis) moved away, and were joined by none other than Chris Froome.

Surprisingly, this move proved a little more persistent, extending to 10 seconds, but was also reeled by the 32km mark. That gave way to a counter attack that proved more successful.

Indeed, there was 44km to go when the strongest move of the day came from Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky), who broke away with Emils Liepins (One Pro Cycling), but dropped Liepins to proceed solo.

Vasil Kiryienka of Team Sky moved to a 30-second lead with 33km to go. With a raging pack chasing him down at 50kmh, he showed impressive strength by holding off the group and retained a 20 second lead with 20km to go.

When an eager pack chased for the intermediate sprint at 11km to go, Kiryienka's break was caught, and the stage was set for a sprint finish.

Picture Credit Quick-Step Floors

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