Edvald Boasson Hagen extended his lead in the Aviva Tour of Britain, finishing second on Nottingham’s Forest Recreation Ground behind Etixx Quick-Step rider Matteo Trentin, who took his team’s third stage win of the week.
The Italian outsprinted Boasson Hagen in a two-up sprint at the end of the 192-kilometre stage after the Aviva Yellow Jersey had bridged across to him in the final kilometres through Nottingham, going on to describe the stage as the hardest he had ever ridden.
The two riders were just ahead of a chasing bunch of 28 riders, all that remained of the main field at the end of a hard day’s racing, which saw aggressive riding from the start in Stoke-on-Trent.
The sight of a 75 strong grupetto coming home 45-minutes and 47-seconds behind the stage winner – on a 192km stage of less than five hours and featuring no long climbs – would appear to back up Trentin’s claim.
That the Etixx Quick-Step rider had contributed massively to the main break of the day while still having enough energy to outsprint Boasson Hagen was testament to his good form.
“For me and probably 99% of the field that is the hardest race I have ever done,” said Trentin. “It was full gas right from the beginning we never really stopped. You just have to look at the numbers, I was averaging 365 watts for four hours and 45 minutes. That’s tough. In the break we were never more than one minute or so ahead, the race was always on and never slowed. Even when it was flat at the start we had cross winds and then think about riding the climbs in the cross winds
“When Edvald attacked off the front of the group and came up to join me I thought that would be it because somebody was sure to chase the yellow jersey. But when he joined me we looked back and everybody was on the limit. Edvald was riding for the bonifaction and GC so I took a rest in his wheel and went for the stage win. And then I just sprinted as hard as I could.
“That is the mentality of this Etixx team whether even when we have injuries or crashes. We have a winning mentality, we always race for the victory, we are never here to be just part of the race. Sometime it works sometime it doesn’t but we always try.”
The Etixx Quick-Step team have now won three stages of the race, although both previous stage victors – Petr Vakoc and Fernando Gaviria – have dropped out through injury, and were today joined by Mark Cavendish who crashed, causing his abandonment.
With two stages to go, Boasson Hagen now leads by 13-seconds from Wout Poels, with Rasmus Guldhammer third at 43-seconds and Britain’s Owain Doull fourth, one second back and keeping hold of both the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey and Premier Inn Best British Rider Award.
In both the YodelDirect Sprints and SKODA King of the Mountains classifications there was no change with ONE Pro Cycling’s Peter Williams keeping hold of both jerseys, with neither Williams or his nearest challengers collecting any points towards either competition on Stage Six.
Boasson Hagen and Trentin had both been among a leading group of 30-riders that over the course of the stage from Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham, through Derbyshire and the Peak District, that chased a lead group of varying different combinations.
Initially a strong eight man group of Trentin, Ian Stannard, Zdenek Stybar, Stefan Kueng, Steven Kruijswijk, Sebastian Langeveld, Tao Geoghegan Hart and last year’s winner Dylan Van Baarle forged ahead, but on heavy rolling roads the race was a constantly changing picture, until a six rider group built a small group.
Kueng and Trentin remained clear coming off the hills and into Nottingham, with the latter taking a slender lead into the final three-kilometres before being joined by Boasson Hagen. The MTN Qhubeka rider jumped across the gap that had been reduced by Sky duo Stannard and Ben Swift, but couldn’t defeat Trentin in the sprint.
“It was a really hard day but I am happy with that result,” said Boasson Hagen afterwards. “I would have happily settled for that before the start of the stage. Sky applied the pressure and eventually the break went and when Stannard came back I had to try and cover the moves and hope for the best.
“Stannard asked me to ride at one stage and that is natural of course but I didn’t want to do that before the final intermediate sprint because I could have lost time there or they could have attacked me there. I wanted to wait as long as possible before I stated to work but it was always my plan to try something about five kiloetres out. I looked over and Wouter seemed to be on his own so I went.
“I didn’t feel my form was that good at the start of the race but it feels like it is getting better every day now. We will see tomorrow for sure. A lot of people are very tired although perhaps the riders in the grupetto are not quite so tired. I need to stay focussed for two more days now and hope that the team have been saving a lot of energy for the long day tomorrow.”
Coming home in third place on Stage Six four seconds back was the in-form Owain Doull of Team WIGGINS who now moves into fourth place overall with power to add in the final two stage.
“I’ve been taking it day by day, it was very hard from the off but I made the selection and was very happy with third place. I’m a bit surprised at my form although I have always targeted this race and the Under-23 Worlds later this month.
“We will be trying to get onto the podium, there are three intermediate sprints tomorrow with a total of nine seconds available so if I could grab a few of those it would be pretty good but I need to keep contesting the finishes as well and try and get it that way as well. We will give it a good go in the next two days.”
For full results and standings please click here.
Stage Seven sees the race return to East Anglia for the first time since 2012, with Norfolk hosting its first stage start, at Fakenham, since 2010. At 227-kilometres riders will face the longest stage of the race to Ipswich, including a YodelDirect Sprint on the runway of Wattisham Airfield, home to the British Army’s Apache helicopters.
Today we can announce that the legendary cycling event The Milk Race is to return again in 2014 after a triumphant comeback last year.
The event, which was brought back in 2013 by The Dairy Council and the Milk Marketing Forum after a 20 year hiatus, will take place for the second year running in Nottingham on Sunday 25 May as a major city centre race.
For 2014, The Milk Race will once again be a key event in the British sporting calendar and will constitute both an elite women’s race and an elite men’s race on the same day, alongside a full day’s festival of cycling for all the family.
Last year, 60,000 spectators saw Olympic gold medalist Dani King and Rapha Condor JLT’s Felix English join The Milk Race’s Hall of Fame by becoming victorious in the women’s and men’s elite events.
Already confirmed for this year’s race is multi gold medal Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, along with her team The Madison Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Team. On taking part in 2014, Dame Sarah said: “I am very excited to see The Milk Race return to Nottingham for 2014. It was a superb event in 2013 recapturing the excitement of the event from its previous format. This year I am excited to be riding with my new road team and I look forward to seeing the amazing crowds that watched the event in 2013. A huge thanks to everyone who has worked to bring us this superb event again.”
Also confirmed for 2014 is last year’s Milk Race men’s elite champion, Felix English. On returning again this year, Felix said: “As the current men’s Milk Race champion, it’s brilliant that the event is returning again in May. The atmosphere last year in Nottingham was fantastic so I can’t wait to race the circuit once again.”
The 2014 elite races will once again be directed by former world champion Tony Doyle MBE, who was also a founder of the Tour of Britain in 1994 and was President of the British Cycling Federation in 1996.
On his involvement with this year’s Milk Race, Tony said: “I am delighted to be involved in 2014’s event. Last year was a great success and a brilliant addition to the cycling calendar. It’s a very exciting time for cycling and with the heritage of The Milk Race, combined with its new city centre format, I’m sure it’ll once again prove to be a big hit with cyclists and supporters alike.”
Nottingham was chosen as the location of The Milk Race for the second year running as it played a huge part in the success of last year’s event. The city also has a long standing heritage in cycling – it houses the headquarters of leading brand Raleigh – and maintains an outstanding commitment to community cycling.
Further information about the 2014 Milk Race can be found at www.themilkrace.com and additional details of the event will be unveiled over the coming weeks. Registration for family and advanced rides will open mid March.
The History of The Milk Race
You may have already seen the press release about the return of the Milk Race after a 20 year absence, and, although it’s format for this year is not the stage race of the past, it is still pulling punches by offering equal prize money for both the men’s and women’s events.
- Between 1958 and 1993, The Milk Race was the most prestigious cycling event in the British calendar, and the (now disbanded) Milk Marketing Board’s sponsorship remains the longest association that the sport has ever had.
- The multistage race of old was conducted over a number of day races – across a number of locations – and was contested by some of the most successful ever road cyclists.
- Previous Milk Race winners include Shane Sutton – a current part of British Cycling’s coaching set-up – and Malcolm Elliott, the team manager of the Node4-Giordana professional team.
- In 2013, The Milk Race returned after 20 years and was held in Nottingham city centre – attended by over 60,000 people. Dani King and Felix English won the women’s elite race and the men’s elite race respectively.
“The Dairy Council is proud to announce that legendary cycling event The Milk Race is to make a return to the British sporting calendar after a 20-year absence. “The event, which initially ran between 1958 and 1993, will be reborn as a major city centre race – to take place this year in Nottingham on Sunday 26 May 2013. In its previous incarnation, The Milk Race was the most prestigious multi-stage event in the UK and the (now disbanded) Milk Marketing Board’s 35-year sponsorship remains the longest association that the sport of cycling has ever had. For 2013, The Milk Race will constitute an elite men’s race and an elite women’s race to happen on the same day alongside a full day’s festival of cycling for all the family in Nottingham. The decision to bring back the event, and to re-ignite the link between the ‘white stuff’ and the sport of cycling, was taken by industry bodies The Dairy Council and the Milk Marketing Forum. Dairy Council chairman Sandy Wilkie said: “The Milk Race is undoubtedly the most well remembered and most well regarded cycling event that there has ever been in this country. So to bring it back, and to re-establish such a strong link between milk and sport, is a very exciting development. Much like British cycling, the ‘white stuff’ has gone through something of a renaissance in recent years through the establishment of the celebrity ‘make mine Milk’ campaign, which has included Olympic champion cyclists Ed Clancy and Laura Trott. It’s therefore a perfect partnership for what promises to be a momentous occasion in Nottingham in May.”
Both races have total prize money of over £4,000, which is pretty unheard of for the majority of women’s races in the UK. Entry is open to elite, first, second and third category riders, and the Race Director, Tony Doyle MBE, is keen to attract a field of 60 riders for the women’s event.
The cost of an entry is only £5 – for an event with such a legacy, on closed roads, with crowds, atmosphere, equal prize money and a chance to race with the likes of Olympian Dani King, what more could you ask for?
If you may be thinking about racing but are worried about your other half or your kids, then do not fear, the Milk Race is taking over Nottingham town centre for the day on 26 May, with rides for all the family, face painting, cyclists doing stunts – check out their website for more information: www.themilkrace.com
Challenge yourself and raise awareness of a great charity… hurry places are limited!
Cycle Edinburgh to Richmond in Aid of Missing People
You’ve always wondered what it really feels like to be a pro rider with support vehicles and entourage? Well here’s your chance to live the dream, drama and inevitable pain. Push yourself to the max and raise awareness for a great charity and touch someone else’s life. Cycling Shorts are throwing their support behind the ride and would be very proud if some of you lovely people got involved. We would of course promote you fundraising and help in any way we can!
The charity Missing People is inviting participants to sign up to its first Cycle Challenge, a professional-level boutique five day ride from Edinburgh to Richmond, to help provide a lifeline for missing people in the UK and anyone left behind, starting on 16 June 2012.
The route is designed to put experienced riders through their paces, with a pro-level experience including a support car, quality accommodation and food supplies, to fuel the journey through Newcastle, York, Nottingham and Milton Keynes.
Eurosport commentator and sport promoter David Harmon has endorsed the event, in recognition of the exciting challenge it offers for participants, as well as the importance of the cause.
David said: “Every mile these riders get under their wheels exposes passers-by to a massively important charity and its vitally important work to help missing people, their families and their loved ones.
Having specialised in distance riding myself I know how tough this ride is going to be. From the hills and climbs of the first 2 days to the windswept middle section, it’s going to be a huge personal challenge…”Chapeau!” as they say in cycling”.
The Cycle Challenge also represents the ‘premier event’ of the summer for Missing People’s partner Ride2Raise, as it contributes logistical expertise and promotes the challenge throughout the cycling community.
Richard King, Managing Director at Ride2Raise commented: “Although very beautiful, the first two stages’ long journey between Edinburgh and York will be tough. The riders will really be put through the mill, but it is great that we can support them so closely to make this event a huge success.”
“The riders will have a support car, food and quality accommodation as they physically test themselves with this remarkable fundraising endeavour.”
Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive of Missing People said: “If someone you loved went missing wouldn’t you want the world to stop and look for them? The charity Missing People is building a dedicated community of people across the country ready to join the search when the worst happens.
This new cycle event will be memorable for the scenery, the professional support and the incredible physical challenge, but will also help the charity to raise awareness of vulnerable missing adults and children, and support many families left behind.”