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Vermote wins Stage 2

Julien Vermote

Julien Vermote, by Jeremy-Gunther-Heinz Jahnick, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Julien Vermote of Etixx Quick-Step won Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain 2016 in Kendal. He came onto Beast Banks in Kendal on Steve Cummings' wheel, and when he made his move up to the finish line, Cummings couldn't respond.

Earlier, there was a 15-man break which included Vermote, as well as Nicholas Roche and André Greipel. It broke apart on the final categorised climb, of The Struggle, near Ambleside. Beyond the top of the climb, Cummings bridged across to the remnants of the breakaway, then attacked. Vermote was the only breakaway survivor able to stay with the Liverpudlian. 

It came down to a two-man battle, and it was the Belgian, Vermote, who was the winner. Vermote and Cummings are now first and second in the GC.

This is the Stage 2 highlights video:

CyclingNews has a full report and results.

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016

The Struggle

The Struggle, by Tejvan Pettinger, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain 2016 is 188km from Carlisle to Kendal. There's a total of 3,779m of climbing.

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016: route map

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016: stage profile and timings

Profile of Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016

Profile of Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016, © Tour of Britain

These are the estimated timings and detailed route of Stage 2.

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016: the start in Carlisle

Carlisle Castle

Carlisle Castle, by NealeA, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 2 starts in English Street, Carlisle (ceremonial start). The riders will go at a reduced pace along Lowther Street, left on Drover's Lane, continuing on West Tower Street, west along the A595 Castle Way/Church Street past the castle and over the river Caldew, then doubling back along Castle Way; on Georgian Way, Victoria Place, east on the A69 Warwick Road, then south on (funnily enough) Eastern Way; left on London Road, and forking left on Cumwhinton Road. The flag goes down and the racing starts on Cumwhinton Road.

The race travels south via Cumwhinton, Armathwaite, Staffield, Kirkoswald, Lazonby, and Salkeld Dykes to Penrith (where it should arrive about 11.50). It comes through Penrith on Salkeld Road and Scotland Road/A6/King Street/Victoria Road. It goes past the hospital on the A6, then crosses the river Eamont, and leaves Penrith on the B5320 to Pooley Bridge.

The race now takes the A592 on the north west side of Ullswater.


Ullswater, by Mark Hughes, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Two thirds of the way along the lake, the riders turn north, away from Ullswater and uphill (but this is not a categorised climb). They go to Dockray and Matterdale End, and take the road between Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell, to Motherby. The route continues to Greystoke and Johnby, then on to Hesket Newmarket.

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016: the sprint at Hesket Newmarket

The first intermediate sprint of the stage comes at 79.3km, at Hesket Newmarket, with the line after the Old Crown, and before the village shop.

Now it's on to Caldbeck and Uldale, and on the B5291 past the northern end of Bassenthwaite Lake. Running parallel to the A66, the riders go through Embleton, on the way to Cockermouth.

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016: the sprint at Cockermouth

The second intermediate sprint is after 107.4km at Cockermouth. The race comes into Cockermouth on St Helen's Street/Main Street. The line is shortly after Main Street gives way to the B5292. Just beyond, on the corner, is the Wordworth House, and the race goes left on Sullart Street, then leaves Cockermouth on Gallowbarrow, Station Road, and the B5292 over the river Cocker.

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016: climb of Whinlatter Pass (Category 2)

Whinlatter Forest

Whinlatter Forest, by Roger Ward, Licence CC BY 2.0

The B5292 takes the riders south east into Whinlatter Forest Park, and towards Whinlatter Pass, the first categorised climb of the day. The climb starts at km116.3, and finishes at km119.8, at an altitude of 300m. Grisedale Pike (790m) is a short distance south of the road.

The descent to Braithwaite and Keswick is classed 'fast and technical'. The race comes into Keswick on High Hill, over the river Greta, then goes along Main Street and Bank Street. There's to be a big screen in Keswick Market Square, showing full live TV coverage. 

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016: climb of Chestnut Hill (Category 2)

Castlerigg stone circle

Castlerigg stone circle, by Agadant, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The riders leave Keswick on the Penrith Road, before turning right on the A591 Chestnut Hill/Castlerigg Brow/Nest Brow. (The race passes close to the Castlerigg stone circle on this climb). The climb is from 128.6km to 130.3km.

Beyond the top of the climb, the race descends on the A591, then forks right, to go down the west side of Thirlmere.


Thirlmere, by Pete Birkinshaw, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016: sprint at Grasmere

Wordsworth's grave, Grasmere

Wordsworth's grave in Grasmere, by Luke McKernan, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The race rejoins the A591. It forks off to the right on Swan Lane/Broadgate to visit Grasmere (the village) for the final intermediate sprint. The line is just beyond the junction of Broadgate with Easedale Road/College Street.

Leaving Grasmere, the riders cross the river Rothay, and rejoin the A591, which takes them alongside Grasmere (the lake), then by Rydal Water. The A591 goes to Ambleside (which has a big screen). 

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016: the climb called The Struggle (Category 1)

The Struggle

The Struggle, by Tejvan Pettinger, Licence CC BY 2.0

Rather than going into Ambleside, the race veers left on Kirkstone Road, and begins the next climb, The Struggle, from km156 to km160.5. It ends at Kirkstone Pass, near the Kirkstone Pass Inn, at about 454m.

Kirkstone Pass Inn

Kirkstone Pass Inn, by Mr H, Licence CC BY 2.0

Next, another fast and technical descent on the A592 Kirkstone Pass to Lake Windermere. It's called Rayrigg Road as it goes along the lake shore to Bowness-on-Windermere.

The riders turn left away from the lake on the B5284, via Mitchelland and Crook, to Kendal.

Stage 2, Tour of Britain 2016: the finish in Kendal

Kendal, Cumbria

Kendal, Cumbria, by Dr Savage, Licence CC BY 2.0

The race comes into Kendal on the A5284 Windermere Road. It passes through the centre of Kendal, turns right on Allhallows Lane, then continues up Beast Banks/Greenside. (Beast Banks Post Office was the inspiration for Mrs Goggins' Post Office in Postman Pat). Although not a categorised climb, it's an uphill finish.

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Stage 3, Tour of Britain 2016

Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain 2016 is 179km from Congleton to Tatton Park. Read about Stage 3, Tour of Britain 2016.

Stage 2, Tour of Britain: The Struggle, Ambleside to Kirkstone Pass

The Struggle, sign at the bottom

The Struggle, sign at the bottom, by Pontificalibus, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The Struggle is a steep road up from Ambleside to Kirkstone Pass (1,489ft or 454m). In places, the gradient is 24%. To the left on the way up is Kirkstone Quarry, where slate was mined, and at the top of the pass is an old coaching inn, the Kirkstone Pass Inn.

Kirkstone Pass from the Struggle

Kirkstone Pass from The Struggle, by Tom Richardson, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

CyclingUphill says that The Struggle is the hardest way up to Kirkstone Pass. The steepest section comes at the end. 'There are two wicked hairpins at 20%...the road surface also deteriorates near the top.'

Carlisle CastleThirlmereKirkstone Pass Inn

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