Wells Tour of Britain round-up
By Wells_Jaqui | Monday, September 19, 2011, 08:04
Wells went biking mad on Friday as thousands turned out to see the Tour of Britain race.
Wells Tour of Britain 2011
Hundreds of schoolchildren joined cyclists and enthusiastic spectators to cheer on the riders first through the Yodel Sprint in Priory Road, then up the High Street, looping across the Mendip Hills and back on Priory Road again for the finish.
The largest crowds of the day, however, were at the top of the Old Bristol Hill Climb, where it is estimated that nearly 1,000 people packed on to the road to roar the riders up, much like spectators do on a stage of the Tour de France in the Alps.
As for the racing, Lars Boom tightened his grip on the IG Markets Gold Jersey by taking victory in Wells.
The Rabobank rider emerged to win ahead of his breakaway companions Alexandre Pichot and Leopold Koenig, following the last corner crash of Gabriel Rasch.
Boom said: "It was a difficult stage, my guys worked really hard, they are so strong, I am really thankful.
"They worked so hard for me today, and for the rest of the last climb there were attacks from other riders and there was a small group going.
"In the last 20 kilometres there were attacks for the points at the King of the Mountains, and some attacks from Steve Cummings and Michael Rogers.
"They went pretty hard, but I could keep the wheel and it was OK. After that there were a lot of guys for the Garmin team, and a lot of other guys that were pulling for the General Classification guys. I made an advantage of that and I'm really happy with the win.
"Rasch and Julian Dean went too hard in the last corner, and I took the corner perfectly I think, and from there nobody else was going to win.
"It was really nice, of course, to have such big support for the whole stage."
The Wells win set up Lars Boom to take victory in the race overall as it finished in London today.
Boom took the honours, ahead of Cummings in second and Jan Barta in third.
Geraint Thomas won the Points competition from Mark Cavendish and Boom, and the King of the Mountains winner was the South West's Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, ahead of Russell Hampton and Cummings.
It was an AN Post – Sean Kelly team lock-out of the Sprints competition with Pieter Ghyllebert winning, ahead of Gediminas Bagdonas and Ronan McLaughlin.
For photos from this year's Tour of Britain in Wells check out the gallery.