Julian Alaphilippe wins the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain Green Jersey overall title after 8 days of exciting racing that finished on the prestigious London finale circuit around Trafalgar.
Press: “Julian – can you tell us how it feels to win this race.”
Julian: “Thank you – and yes for sure we celebrate a great feeling to win this race – especially overall lead. I just want to enjoy and say one more time, thank you to all my Team mates who did a really good job all the week to protect me until the last Stage and until the finish-line. I’m really, really happy, really proud to have this new line on my Palmaris.”
Eight stages & 1136.1 kilometres of racing with 14500m of climbing from Southern Britain to Cumbria & back saw the jersey change hands 5 times before settling on the shoulders of Quick Step Floors star ride Alaphilippe.
Caleb Ewan – Mitchelton-Scott finished his road season in London winning the final stage as he bid farewell to his Team for the previous 4 years ahead of Fernando Gaviria Quick Step Floors & André Gripel Lotto Soudal – his second victory on this iconic city stage that ran here in 2016.
Ewan by his own admission had under-performed well below his usual high standard.
Press: “Caleb, what a great win. You have been chasing this win for a while.”
Caleb: “Yeh – I think my last one was in February, and this Season hasn’t gone really how I’d hoped. This was my last race of the Season & my last with Mitchelton-Scott. To finish with a win is a great feeling.”
Alaphilippe took the Green Jersey on the hilltop finish of stage 6 in Whinlatter, Cumbria finishing 2nd behind winner Wout Poels Team Sky, another overall title contender. Poels moved up into 2nd on GC at this point with Primoz Roglic Lotto NL Jumbo a former Green Jersey holder dropping back to 3rd.
The Tour swung into action on day 1 in Newport with André Greipel winning the bunch sprint and claiming the first OVO Energy Green leader’s jersey & the Wahoo Blue Jersey with a 4s bonus on GC ahead of Ewan & Gaviria.
One of the early signs of claiming the 2018 Skoda KoM title came on the 1st day of racing for Dimension Data’s Nicolas Dlamini taking the first 2 primes and the converted Black Jersey. Not featuring in day 2, Dlamini surrendered his lead to team mate Scott Davis taking maximum points to become the second wearer of the Jersey. A breakaway on the road in day 3 saw Davis retain the Skoda KoM Jersey before returning to the shoulders of Dlamini with Madison Genesis’s Matt Holmes taking maximum points that stage. No KoM Points on offer for the Team Time Trial stage 5 in Cumbria saw Dlamini extend his lead on the queen stage of the Tour from Barrow in Furness to Whinlatter with a break away sweeping up most of the points on stage 7 into Mansfield to be confirmed the overall Skoda King of the Mountain winner in 2018.
Great Britain’s Matt Bostock took the first Red Eisberg Sprint Jersey before Team Wiggin’s Matthew Teggart stole the show winning all the Sprints on stage 2 into Barnstaple & holding onto the Jersey for stage 4.
Not content in challenging solely for the Skoda KoM, Madison Genesis’s Matt Holmes had his eye on the Red Eisberg Jersey to, winning all 3 sprints into Royal Leamington Spa to become the new Red Jersey holder for the next couple of days. The challenge didn’t stop there when Canyon Eisberg’s Alex Paton took all of penultimate day 7’s Sprints that put him in the lead for the Finale.
The battle in London commenced in-front of huge home crowds with Holmes showing promise grabbing an extra point back early on in the 66km race before Paton fought hard all the way to the line ahead of a depleted Holmes to become the 2018 Red Eisberg Jersey winner.
A win for Cameron Meyer Mitchelton Scott on day 2 Cranbrook to Barnstable saw the Wahoo Points Jersey change hand to Meyer whilst the OVO Green Jersey change hands also to Alessandro Tonelli Bardiani CSF.
Alaphilippe showed GC contention winning stage 3 in Bristol with the Wahoo Points Jersey moving for a third consecutive day whilst Patrick Bevin BMC Racing became the third wearer of the OVO Energy Green leader’s jersey.
Greipel showed his power once more adding another stage victory to his tally in the Tour on stage 4 from Nuneton to Royal Leamington Spa and Bevin retained his overall lead in GC.
A different set of challenges were offered to the riders as the race moved to their most northerly point, in this 14th edition of the Tour of Britain. A team time trial with a twist, a hill top finish. No other classification except the leaders jersey were on offer as an excellent performance from Team Lotto NL Jumbo catapulted another GC contender Primoz Roglic into the OVO Energy Green leaders jersey some 6s over Alaphilippe.
The Queen stage Barrow in Furness to Whinlatter had 5 KoM classified climbs passing the finish line before looping around & finishing once more on Whinlatter. Team Sky’s Wout Poels the 3rd GC favorite showed his climbing skills in the final kilometre from behind race leaders Hugh Carthy Team EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale & Alaphilippe to take their first stage win this year as Alaphilippe donned the Green Jersey once more.
A long solo break from an all-day breakaway quintet on the rain soaked day 7 West Bridgford to Mansfield penultimate stage brought a second successive win for Team Sky and his second long solo break for Ian Stannard in the Tour history. Nils Politt Team Katush-Alpecin & Giovanni Carboni Bardani CSF had kept Stannard company for most of the race before Stannard made his move with 16km remaining.
It was a great opportunity for Alex Paton in the Eisberg Sprints competition being part of the original 5 man breakaway mopping up maximum points before dropping back to the Peloton some 4 mins behind. Fellow Brit Mark McNally Wanty Group Gobert had also been part of the breakaway group for the most part before dropping back to finish 4th just ahead of the chasing Peloton.
Words & Images by Chris Maher.
London Stage Top 31
1 61 EWAN Caleb MTS AUS B:10″ 00″
2 191 GAVIRIA Fernando QST COL B:06″ ‘ ‘
3 32 GREIPEL André LTS GER B:04″ ‘ ‘
4 135 PASQUALON Andrea WGG ITA ‘ ‘
5 163 HAYTER Ethan GBR GBR ‘ ‘
6 136 SMITH Dion WGG NZL ‘ ‘
7 23 DRUCKER Jean-Pierre BMC LUX ‘ ‘
8 182 EEKHOFF Nils SUN NED ‘ ‘
9 75 SIMION Paolo BRD ITA ‘ ‘
10 22 BEVIN Patrick BMC NZL B:04″ ‘ ‘
11 41 CULLAIGH Gabriel WGN GBR ‘ ‘
12 94 SUTTERLIN Jasha MOV GER ‘ ‘
13 192 ALAPHILIPPE Julian QST FRA ‘ ‘
14 5 POWLESS Neilson TLJ USA ‘ ‘
15 11 RENSHAW Mark DDD AUS ‘ ‘
16 131 MEURISSE Xandro WGG BEL ‘ ‘
17 24 ROELANDTS Jurgen BMC BEL ‘ ‘
18 1 ROGLIC Primoz TLJ SLO ‘ ‘
19 81 LIEPINS Emils ONE LAT ‘ ‘
20 3 EENKHOORN Pascal TLJ NED B:01″ ‘ ‘
21 4 VAN EMDEN Jos TLJ NED ‘ ‘
22 151 DOWSETT Alex TKA GBR ‘ ‘
23 14 THWAITES Scott DDD GBR ‘ ‘
24 175 POELS Wout SKY NED ‘ ‘
25 12 DAVIES Scott DDD GBR ‘ ‘
26 101 CHAVANEL Sylvain TDE FRA ‘ ‘
27 91 ROJAS José MOV ESP ‘ ‘
28 144 STEDMAN Maximilian BCC GBR ‘ ‘
29 95 FERNANDEZ Ruben MOV ESP ‘ ‘
30 123 CARTHY Hugh EFD GBR ‘ ‘
31 64 MEYER Cameron MTS AUS ‘ ‘
GC Top 30 OVO Energy Tour of Britain 2018
1 192 ALAPHILIPPE Julian QST FRA 26h25’58” 00″
2 175 POELS Wout SKY NED 26h26’15” 17″
3 1 ROGLIC Primoz TLJ SLO 26h26’31” 33″
4 22 BEVIN Patrick BMC NZL 26h26’40” 42″
5 193 JUNGELS Bob QST LUX 26h26’49” 51″
6 94 SUTTERLIN Jasha MOV GER 26h26’56” 58″
7 5 POWLESS Neilson TLJ USA 26h27’08” 01’10”
8 153 STRAKHOV Dmitrii TKA RUS 26h27’19” 01’21”
9 183 HAMILTON Christopher SUN AUS 26h27’26” 01’28”
10 3 EENKHOORN Pascal TLJ NED 26h27’32” 01’34”
11 64 MEYER Cameron MTS AUS 26h27’47” 01’49”
12 12 DAVIES Scott DDD GBR 26h27’52” 01’54”
13 4 VAN EMDEN Jos TLJ NED 26h27’56” 01’58”
14 123 CARTHY Hugh EFD GBR 26h27’58” 02’00”
15 103 HIVERT Jonathan TDE FRA 26h28’07” 02’09”
16 163 HAYTER Ethan GBR GBR 26h28’15” 02’17”
17 44 PIDCOCK Thomas WGN GBR 26h28’22” 02’24”
18 136 SMITH Dion WGG NZL 26h28’25” 02’27”
19 131 MEURISSE Xandro WGG BEL ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
20 144 STEDMAN Maximilian BCC GBR 26h28’40” 02’42”
21 26 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC USA 26h29’12” 03’14”
22 91 ROJAS José MOV ESP 26h29’31” 03’33”
23 95 FERNANDEZ Ruben MOV ESP 26h29’48” 03’50”
24 96 SEPULVEDA Eduardo MOV ARG 26h30’31” 04’33”
25 52 BRADBURY Edmund JLT GBR 26h31’11” 05’13”
26 81 LIEPINS Emils ONE LAT 26h31’46” 05’48”
27 14 THWAITES Scott DDD GBR 26h31’50” 05’52”
28 65 POWER Rob MTS AUS 26h32’00” 06’02”
29 76 TONELLI Alessandro BRD ITA 26h32’44” 06’46”
30 111 SWIFT Connor MGT GBR 26h32’50” 06’52”
Stage 8 Roll of Honour
STAGE WINNER 61 EWAN Caleb AUS Mitchelton – Scott
BEST TEAM WGG Wanty – Groupe Gobert
COMBATIVITY HIGH5 174 KIRYIENKA Vasil BLR Team Sky
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION OVO ENERGY 192 ALAPHILIPPE Julian FRA Quick Step Floors
SPRINTS CLASSIFICATION EISBERG 141 PATON Alex GBR Canyon Eisberg
POINTS CLASSIFICATION WAHOO 22 BEVIN Patrick NZL BMC Racing Team
KING OF MOUNTAIN CLASSIFICATION SKODA 13 DLAMINI Nicholas RSA Team Dimension Data
TEAM CLASSIFICATION TLJ Team Lotto NL – Jumbo
BEST BRITISH 12 DAVIES Scott GBR Team Dimension Data
COMBATIVITY OVERALL HIGH5 113 HOLMES Matthew GBR Madison Genesis
Press Quotes courtesy of Sweetspot
Stage 1 Pembrey Country Park to the city of Newport 02 Sept 2018 Winner André Greipel
Greipel said: “Winning Stage One brings the leader’s jersey with it, which is always a nice thing. This is a big race, so it’s prestigious to wear the jersey in it. We wanted to win a stage, so we’re happy that we made it possible on the first day.”
“I had a really good lead-out by Jasper de Buyst, so I’m happy that I could time it right and finish it off. We expected it to be a bunch sprint – I’m happy that I could win again.”
Stage 2 Cranbrook to Barnstaple 03 Sept 2018 Winner Cameron Meyer
“It was always going to be close,” said Meyer of the thrilling finale. “I heard that the gap was one minute with 10 kilometres to go, and that there was a strong group of favourites coming fast from behind, so I wanted to push on. It’s been a few years since I rode in this race, but I remember getting caught twice inside final kilometre. I didn’t want déjà vu to happen again.”
“I was pretty confident that with my track background that I could negotiate a sprint against whoever I had to go up against. Coming into the finish, I got the Italian [Tonelli] to go up to the 500m to go mark – I knew I had him covered from there.”
Stage 3 Bristol 04 Sept 2018 Winner Julian Alaphilippe
“I’m happy to win, especially today as it’s my first race after a good break,” said Alaphilippe. “My team did a really good job today – Bob [Jungels] and I have tried since the start of the Tour to win, so I’m happy to take the victory today. In the end I was in a really good position – Bob did a really good job and voila!”
“This is my first time in the race, and I’m really happy to be part of this race. I’m surprised to be active in the race, especially in the final kilometres – maybe it’s because I’m fresh. I really like the parcours here.”
Stage 4 Nuneaton to Royal Leamington Spa 05 Sept 2018 Winner André Greipel
“The guys worked really well to keep me upfront, especially Jasper de Buyst again,” said Greipel. “My aim was to go full gas from the final corner, even though it was 300m from line – I knew that I could make it. I’m happy with another win.
“I think everybody was a bit tired from the last three days; all the main teams expected a bunch sprint and so we saved energy for the team time trial tomorrow. Even though it’s not easy to control the breakaway, together with Quick-Step Floors and Mitchelton-SCOTT we managed to make that possible today.
“When it comes down to sprints, we have a good team here, with Moreno Hofland and Jens Keukeleire, too, who worked really hard with [Quick-Step Floors’] Iljo Keisse today. I’ve got really experienced guys to set me up.”
Stage 5 Cockermouth to Whinlatter TTT 06 Sept 2018 Winner Primoz Roglic
“We are all really happy – it’s a really special moment.
“Getting the jersey was not really a big objective – we just wanted to do a nice team time trial. But as we managed to take it, we will try and defend the jersey in the next days.
“There was quite a lot of communication out on the road because it was a really hard climb. I think all the guys did a really good job, each and every one of them. It’s a really nice win.”
Stage 6 Barrow-in-Furness to Whinlatter 07 Sept 2018 Winner Wout Poels
“I’m really happy – the team did a really good job – G [Geraint Thomas], Ian Stannard – so it’s really nice that I could finish it off,” said Poels, who moves into second overall, 17 seconds behind Alaphilippe.
However, he admitted winning the race overall would be a struggle: “Second is really nice, I’m quite happy with it. It’s going to be a hard fight – no more uphill finishes, everything is flat. But we’ll keep on trying.”
Stage 7 West Bridgford to Mansfield 08 Sept 2018 Winner Ian Stannard
“It was always pretty close with Pollit, seven or eight seconds or so, and it was getting tough,” said Stannard, who eventually won by 59 seconds. “Luckily there were a few little kicks towards the end so I managed to put a bit more into the gap.
“When I got into the break today I was pretty confident – I looked at the other guys, how they were riding all day and I knew that I had the edge. “
Historic overall Winners - OVO Energy Green Jersey
2017 Lars Boom (NED)
2016 Steve Cummings (GBR)
2015 Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR)
2014 Dylan Van Baarle (NED)
2013 Sir Bradley Wiggins (GBR)
2012 Nathan Haas (AUS)
2011 Lars Boom (NED)
2010 Michael Albasini (SWI)
2009 Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR)
2008 Geoffroy Lequatre (FRA)
2007 Romain Feillu (FRA)
2006 Martin Pedersen (DEN)
2005 Nick Nuyens (BEL)
2004 Mauricio Ardila (COL)
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