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Lotto Soudal rider André Greipel won Stage 1 of the 2016 Tour of Britain in a bunch sprint in Castle Douglas. Caleb Ewan got onto his wheel on the uphill race to the line, but was unable to come past. Meanwhile, there was a crash on the final bend, which took out riders including Mark Cavendish and Elia Viviani.
Earlier, there was a 5-man breakaway, involving Pete Williams, Jesper Bovenhuis, Emiel Wastyn, Johnny McEvoy, and Tom Moses.
This is a highlights video of Stage 1:
CyclingNews has a full report and results.
Stage 1 of the Tour of Britain 2016 is 161km from Glasgow to Castle Douglas.
Profile of Stage 1, Tour of Britain 2016, © Tour of Britain
These are the estimated timings and detailed route of Stage 1.
Stage 1 of the Tour of Britain starts at George Square, Glasgow. (The last time the Tour came to Glasgow was in 2006). There's a circuit in Glasgow, which the riders tackle twice: the first lap is neutralised, so a chance to see the peloton go past at a slower pace; when they come back to George Square, the flag will go down, and the race will be on for the second lap. There's a map of the Glasgow circuit at the start of Stage 1.
Instead of returning to George Square to end the second lap, there's an intermediate sprint on Clyde Street, by the river Clyde, then the race goes over the river on Bridge Street, and south out of Glasgow on the A77 Kilmarnock Road.
The race heads south south west from Glasgow on the B769 to Stewarton, then on the A735 to Kilmarnock. The next intermediate sprint is just beyond the centre of Kilmarnock, on the B7073 London Road. The race then continues on the A71 to Galston.
Stage 1 continues south to Cumnock. The riders leave Cumnock, and take the B7046 Skares Road, where they tackle the first categorised climb of the stage, from 74 to 77km, to the former mining village of Skares.
The riders go on to Sinclairston and Littlemill, and the next climb, Pollnessan, is from 89.9 to 91.4km. They descend, and join the A713 by the river Doon, heading for Dalmellington.
Dalmellington was a coal-mining village (it is by the Chalmeston open cast mine). It has a well-known brass band, Dalmellington Band.
The Dalmellington intermediate sprint is on the A713 Ayr Road, close to the Jet petrol station. The riders remain on the A713 leaving Dalmellington, and they reach the top of the next Category 3 climb 6km after Dalmellington. Loch Doon is to their right hand side at this point in the stage. After the Dalmellington climb, the race is nearly all downhill or flat.
The race stays on the A713 to Carsphairn, a former lead mining village. Here, it forks left on the B729, running along the shore of Kendoon Loch.
The B7000 takes the riders to St John's Town of Dalry (a village on an old pilgrimmage road, which is named after the Knights of St John; it was home to bird artist and writer Donald Watson).
After St John's Town of Dalry, the race is on the A713, alongside Loch Ken. It goes through Parton (home to Galloway Activity Centre), Crossmichael, and Townhead of Greenlaw.
The riders stay on the A713 all the way into Castle Douglas. It's relatively flat on the run-in. They arrive in Castle Douglas on the A713 Abercromby Road, and turn sharp left on the A713 King Street. That 90 degree bend comes 500m from the finish, and positioning there will be crucial. The last 500m to the line is an uphill drag.
Castle Douglas is a town in Dumfries & Galloway, in the area of Kirkcudbrightshire, and built by Carlingwark Loch. There's a brochure for Castle Douglas and Dumfries & Galloway, designed to encourage people to visit during the Tour of Britain.
There were Roman forts to the north of the town, and a vicus may have grown up around them. The forts were abandoned around 160AD.
Castle Douglas was founded in 1792 by a wealthy member of the Douglas family, William, who made his fortune in an unspecified 'American Trade'. (Does that mean slavery?) Like Edinburgh, Castle Douglas is set out on a grid pattern. William Douglas created a local cotton-weaving industry.
Castle Douglas became a market town, and it flourished with improved connections after the arrival of the railway in 1859, and the A75 road in 1965.
Kirsty Wark is from Castle Douglas.
Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain 2016 is 188km from Carlisle to Kendal. Read about Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016.
21st August 2016
Mark Cavendish is to ride the Tour of Britain 2016, his first race since the Olympic Games. He is joined by Dimension Data teammate Steve Cummings at the start in George Square, Glasgow, on Sunday 4th September, and one of his main rivals in the sprints will be André Greipel (Lotto Soudal). Read about Cavendish to ride the Tour of Britain 2016.
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