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Tour of Britain stage 1: Corbin Strong kicks to uphill sprint victory

Israel-Premier Tech rider outsprints Omar Fraile and Anders Halland Johanneson after gritty stage through Scotland.

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The Tour of Britain booted into gear with an uphill sprint victory for Corbin Strong (Israel-Premier Tech).

The Kiwi fastman ground past Omar Fraile (Ineos Grenadiers) in an upward-tilting bunch kick after a gritty, rainsodden day through Scotland.

Strong came out of Fraile’s wheel in the final 50 meters and crossed the line in Glenshee a length ahead to take the GC lead in the eight-day race.

The victory hands Strong his first victory in his debut season with Israel-Premier Tech. The 22-year-old is renowned for his track talent after taking gold at the 2020 points race world championships.

Anders Halland Johannesen (Uno-X) finished third.

 

 

Tracking out of Scottish coastal city Aberdeen through 181k of relentlessly lumpy and rainsodden terrain, the opening stage of the British tour provided a rude introduction to the race.

Human Powered Health punched two riders into the day’s break, with Stephen Bassett hunting KoM points and teammate Matthew Gibson playing wingman. Jacob Scott and Matthew Teggart of home team Wiv-Sungod also made the five-rider move, along with Martin Urianstad (Uno X).

Marco Haller (Bora-Hansgrohe) took a very early exit from the race.

The Austrian veteran crashed with a moto soon after the flag dropped and abandoned. Bora-Hansgrohe later confirmed Haller “seems to be quite OK. There is a problem with his elbow and an X-ray will be conducted to clarify if there is anything broken.”

The five escapees winched out an advantage of more than two minutes, but Ineos Grenadiers and Israel Premier Tech kept a tight leash ahead of the long, grinding climb to the finish at Glenshee.

Conditions only began to dry out at around 20km to go as the bunch of five lingered just 1:30 ahead.

The WorldTour teams left it late to make the catch as a blustering headwind prevented attacks on the 9km climb to the Ski Center.

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) dropped out of the back of the bunch at 5km to go but didn’t seem to have a mechanical problem. The top favorite for the race rejoined the massed peloton soon after but was caught out of position and away from his Ineos Grenadiers crew.

DSM took control at 3km to go as the break still dangled just 30 seconds ahead.

A crash and solo attack out of the bunch at 2km to go briefly lit up the action, but it was all-set for the final bunch sprint as Ineos scooped up the remains of the break and controlled the race toward its final.