Cycling: Renshaw claims Tour of Britain stage win

AUSTRALIA’S Mark Renshaw won the second stage of the Tour of Britain to claim the overall leader’s yellow jersey after a thrilling sprint finish to the 200.8km ride from Knowsley to Llandudno on yesterday.

Australian Mark Renshaw starts to celebrate as he crosses the line to win the second stage. Picture: PA
Australian Mark Renshaw starts to celebrate as he crosses the line to win the second stage. Picture: PA

The Omega Pharma-Quick-Step cyclist timed his final attack to perfection to beat Team Sky’s Ben Swift into second place, while NetApp-Endura’s Sam Bennett finished third.

Renshaw now leads the general classification by four seconds from Swift and third-placed Italian Nicola Ruffoni.

Mark Cavendish, who suffered a crash midway through Sunday’s first stage, is six seconds behind Renshaw in fifth, while defending champion Bradley Wiggins is a further four seconds adrift.

“It was a great stage and a great victory,” 31-year-old Renshaw said.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“It’s always good to win and I’ve already had some victories in the Tour of Britain, so I am very happy.

“It’s great to be in yellow. It’s a bonus. We came here to work for Mark Cavendish. He had a really bad crash yesterday and he is just trying to recover at the moment, so he gave me a chance and the guys rode for me.”

Six men contested the day’s main breakaway but the nature of the stage’s closing kilometres, a testing climb over the Great Orme before a fast 6km descent to the finish, meant they were unlikely to hold on.

Their advantage, which had reached nearly four minutes, was eventually wiped out by a small group of chasing riders 
inside the final 3km.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

After a number of late attacks, Swift launched his final sprint too early and was pipped to the line by Renshaw, who was assisted brilliantly by team-mates Michal Kwiatkowski and Niki Terpstra in the final descent.

Today’s third stage is a 179.9km ride from Newton to The Tumble.

At the Vuelta A Espana, Alberto Contador consolidated his overall race lead by powering forward on the final ascent and winning yesterday’s 16th stage. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider charged past Britain’s Chris Froome with less than a kilometre to go on the mountainous 160.5-kilometre (99.7-mile) ride from San Martin del Rey Aurelio to La Farrapona to finish in 4 hours, 53 minutes, 36 seconds.

Froome finished second, 14 seconds behind, ahead of Alessandro di Marchi, who was 50 seconds behind. Alejandro Valverde lagged on the final ascent and finished fourth, 55 seconds behind, clinging on to third place overall by three seconds.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

The stage was marred by a fight between Gianluca Brambilla and Ivan Rovni, who threw punches at each other while riding and were both ejected from the race.