UAE Team Emirates’ Diego Ulissi returns to the stage of his last one-day race win as the Italian gears up for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal later this week.
The 29-year-old took home first place in the GP Montreal last year, his second one-day victory in UAE colours, and will be hoping for a repeat performance this time round.
Joining Ulissi will be former European Champion Alexander Kristoff, alongside teammates Rui Costa, Alexandr Riabushenko, Manuele Mori, Marco Marcato and Jan Polanc.
Commenting ahead of the race, the Lugano resident said: “The GP Québec and the GP Montréal are two races that I particularly like. They are classics that are similar to the world championships.
“Among the two, I like Montréal because it’s a little harder than Québec and it’s more open to attackers. I had a fever a few days ago so I am not heading into the races in the best shape , but let’s see how my body will respond under force. I hope I can defend the title I won last year in Montréal.”
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.
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.