Tour of Britain: Andre Greipel wins stage one, Froome and Thomas in peloton

Andre Greipel
Andre Greipel has won 11 individual stages of the Tour de France, and six stages of the Tour of Britain

Lotto-Soudal rider Andre Greipel sprinted to victory on the opening stage of the Tour of Britain.

The 36-year-old German timed his finish perfectly to chase down Mitchelton-Scott's Caleb Ewan as they battled it out at the end of a 175km stage from Pembrey Country Park to Newport.

Victory was Greipel's sixth in the Tour of Britain and 154th in his career.

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) finished third, with Britain's Gabriel Cullaigh (Team Wiggins) fourth.

Team Sky pair Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas finished safely in the peloton. Both riders opted against competing in the Vuelta a Espana so they could race in the Tour of Britain.

The first stage had particular significance to Welshman Thomas. Newport's velodrome is to be renamed in his honour after his Tour de France victory, while his father hails from near Pembrey Country Park.

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More than 8,000 fans lined Cardiff's streets earlier this month for Thomas' homecoming parade after his Tour win.

'I'm happy that I could win again'

Gaviria looked the likeliest winner of Sunday's stage when he led out the sprint and cleared a gap, but he failed to hold on.

Greipel, who picked up 10 bonus seconds, said: "Gaviria went from really far back - he did a really good job. I knew it was going to be hard for Gaviria to be in front and I think I timed the sprint perfectly.

"I'm happy that I could finally win again. It's always prestigious to win a stage here and if you can win on the first day, the week is already saved."

South Africa's Nicholas Dlamini, riding for Team Dimension Data, leads the King of the Mountains classification after the opening stage.

Stage one result

1. Andre Greipel (Ger/Lotto-Soudal) 4hrs 0mins 54secs

2. Caleb Ewan (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott) Same time

3. Fernando Gaviria (Col/Quick-Step Floors)

4. Gabriel Cullaigh (GB/Team Wiggins)

5. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel/BMC Racing Team)

General classification

1. Andre Greipel (Ger/Lotto-Soudal) 4hrs 0mins 44secs

2. Caleb Ewan (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott)+04secs

3. Fernando Gaviria (Col/Quick-Step Floors) +06secs

4. Gabriel Cullaigh (GB/Team Wiggins) +10secs

5. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel/BMC Racing Team) Same time

Selected

64. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) Same time

77. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky)

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