TOUR OF BRITAIN
"EWAN HITS THE AFTERBURNERS TO WIN BY A MILE, BRINGING DOWN THE CURTAIN ON A FANTASTIC EDITION OF THE TOUR OF BRITAIN."
It was a chaotic bunch sprint that decided the final stage of the Tour of Britain, with Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) emerging victorious. Ewan hjacked the leadout of Patrick Bevin's BMC team and then hit the jets in the final straight to cross the line with more than a bike length on second-placed Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors).
Ewan said, "This hasn't been a great year for me. This is my last race of the year, my last for this team. I was lucky that my team put me in the perfect position and I had a really good run to the line. To finish with a win means a lot to me."
Ewan, of course, won this same finish in 2016.
Safely arriving in the pack as expected, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) finished as the overall winner of the 2018 Tour of Britain, having taken the OVO Energy green jersey on stage 6 on the summit finish of Whinlatter Pass. The overall victory caps what has been a fantastic season for the Frenchman and his all-conquering team.
Despite losing his leadout on the run-in, the Wahoo Points jersey stays with Bevin – the kiwi rider having enough of a lead to secure his overall win. Bevin battled throughout the race to accrue points, and even took a punt at reducing his GC deficit today by battling for intermediate time bonuses.
A solo break from Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) animated the second half of the stage, but the sprint trains kept the TT specialist on a tight leash and had him reined back in by 12km to go.
The red jersey was perhaps the most hotly contested of the day with Matthew Holmes and his Madison Genesis team putting huge pressure on leader, Alex Paton (Canyon Eisberg). A mano-a-mano dust-up for the last intermediate sprint of the day saw Paton emerge victorious and seal the jersey.
Speaking after the finish, Paton said, "It was a real tough race for us, Madison took it to us from the word go. Fair play to them, we had a big fight on our hands. When you're desperate, you can just about find it in the legs – I don't think I've ever dug so deep."
The absence of climbs on today's central London circuit meant Nic Dlamini began the final stage having already won the Skoda King of the Mountains classification. His team, Dimension Data, have worn the black jersey since the race began, passing it between Dlamini and Scott Davies.