Dangerous kick-off stage of the Tour of Britain – Schorn sprints to 12th place
The Tour of Britain began in Ipswich with summery temperatures and a large audience. The first stage was then decided in a group sprint after 203 kilometers. Luke Rowe from Team Sky won in front of Boy van Poppel (United Healthcare) and Russel Downing (Endura). Team NetApp’s Daniel Schorn sprinted into 12th place. Blaz Jarc was involved in a fall a kilometer before the finish, but was able to finish the race.
After today's victory Luke Rowe (Sky) took over the overall lead, followed by Rony Marias (Team Saur Sojasun) and Boy van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare). Daniel Schorn places 12th, Leo Koenig ranks 40st with 1:39 minute behind.
A four-strong breakaway group was able to pull ahead shortly after the start. The field let the riders build up a lead of over five minutes. As soon as the route from the coast moved back inland Team Sky took up the pursuit. It caught up with the quartet twenty kilometers before the finish and the initially complete field then rode over the very narrow, twisting final kilometers. Many falls then split up the field. After the first fall, which blocked the road, Team NetApp was still able to stay in the front group, but the second bigger fall ensured that the greater part of the team was cut off from the vanguard.
“Only Daniel and Blaz managed the leap into the first group and set off on a sprint. Shortly before the final kilometer, a 90-degree turn had to be taken when Blaz was touched by another rider and slid off in the curve. He got off with slight injuries. Although we’re pleased nothing worse happened, it wasn’t a good start for us,” concluded Sport Director Enrico Poitschke.
After the rather flat route section today, the second stage will already head into hilly England. Three ascents of the first category await the riders on the 181 kilometer long stage from Nottingham to Knowsley Safari Park.