Cameron Meyer wins stage two as Alessandro Tonelli claims Tour of Britain lead

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Italian Alessandro Tonelli claimed the overall lead in the Tour of Britain despite losing a sprint finish to Australian Cameron Mayer on the second stage.

Tonelli, of the Bardiani-CSF team, took a six-second time bonus on the line which meant he claimed the green jersey on the 108-mile Cranbrook to Barnstaple stage in Devon.

Meyer, the Commonwealth Games time trial champion, edged out the Italian on the finish line after a day-long breakaway.

The Michelton-Scott rider, who last claimed a road race victory in February 2015, and Tonelli had been a part of the main group which went clear in the opening nine miles.

“I’ve been here at the Tour of Britain six or seven years ago when I was caught in the last kilometre so I was hoping there was no deja vu,” Meyer told ITV 4.

“I just picked my moment to go across to four guys and we had a breakaway of five. In the end it was a great bike race for me and a thrilling finish.

“It was a bit of a shock to take the win. We’ll see what I can do for the rest of the tour.”

New Zealander Patrick Bevan currently sits third in the overall classification, just eight seconds behind with Team Sky’s Dutchman Wout Poels leading the chasing group.

British duo Scott Davies, having taken the King of the Mountains jersey, and Hugh Carthy are both within 22 seconds of the leader.

“It was a hard stage. A group of five went early on and I just tried to sweep up the KoM points,” said Team Dimension Data’s Davies.

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Andre Greipel sprints to Stage 1 win at Tour of Britain

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Germany’s Andre Greipel claimed the honours on the opening stage of the Tour of Britain in Newport on Sunday.

Greipel (Lotto Soudal) beat Australia’s Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton Scott) and Fernando Gaviria (QuickStep-Floors) in a bunch sprint at the end of the 174.8-kilometres stage from Pembrey Country Park in Carmarthenshire.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and his Team Sky colleague Chris Froome, the four-time Tour de France winner competing at his national tour for a first time since 2009, both finished safely in the pack, on the same time as Greipel. Froome was 64th and Thomas 77th.

Cardiff’s Thomas, racing on home roads, has been enjoying his yellow jersey success but was determined to put on a show.

The 32-year-old attacked on the day’s final climb, but was joined by Julien Alaphilippe and another QuickStep-Floors rider, Bob Jungels.

Jungels forged on as his fellow escapes were reeled in and the Luxembourg rider was caught with 1km to go as the sprinters’ teams found their formation.

And it was Greipel, an 11-time Tour de France stage winner who won the opening stage of the Tour of Britain on his most recent appearance in 2016, who emerged victorious for a first win since May.

Greipel told ITV4: “I went with 200 to go. I’m happy I could finish it off. It was a long time that I didn’t win and now I’m happy I could win finally again.

“It’s always prestigious to win a stage here. That’s why we came here.”

Monday’s second stage is the 174.9km route in Devon from Cranbrook to Barnstaple. The race finishes in central London on Sunday, September 9.

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Alejandro Valverde outsprints Peter Sagan to take victory on Stage 8 of Vuelta a Espana

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Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde kept his composure on a tricky finish to claim victory on the eighth stage of the Tour of Spain on Saturday.

Frenchman Rudy Mollard, of the Groupama team, held on to the race leader’s red jersey.

Organisers had added spice to the finale of the 195.5 km race from Linares, the peloton forced to practically turn back on itself after negotiating a roundabout inside the final kilometre.

But the 38-year-old Valderde held his nerve to stay in sprint contention and proved strongest in a tight, uphill finish to pip three-time world champion Peter Sagan to the honours. It was his second stage win of this year’s race.

Sagan, of the Bora team, finished third with Dutchman Danny von Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) in third place.

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