Viviani sprints to third in Kelso

03 Sep 2017

Viviani sprints to third in Kelso

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Elia Viviani sprinted to third place as a star-studded Tour of Britain got off to a rapid start in the Scottish Borders.

The Italian jumped off the wheel of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and arrived quickly to the line in Kelso, but was narrowly edged out in a four-way blanket finish.
 
Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) prevailed on the cobbled, uphill sprint, fending off Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and Viviani to pull on the race’s opening leader’s jersey.
 
Team Sky rode hard to help control the 190.1-kilometre opening day, with Tao Geoghegan Hart putting in a big shift to set a tempo.
 
The team were also well placed when the bunch split on an exposed section of road with 63km to go. With Michal Kwiatkowski, Geraint Thomas, Viviani and Owain Doull all present on the right side of the echelon they were comfortable during the short-lived move.
 
With the race coming back together ahead of the final KOM point Kwiatkowski pushed the pace in a bit to force some more attacks. Yet with so many teams keen on a bunch sprint the race stayed together, and it was down to Vasil Kiryienka to pace the peloton on the run-in.
 
Viviani was manoeuvred into sprinting position by Doull before netting third. That means he sits fourth overall on the general classification, six seconds behind leader Ewan courtesy of time bonuses.
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After the stage Sport Director Dario Cioni talked to TeamSky.com about how the day played out.

He explained: "If you look at the finish the first three guys were covered by not even a metre's difference. We knew it would be a tricky finish. I think with Elia and the form he's in now we can say that we hoped for the win. We got third and I think we can be happy, but we'll be back for more tomorrow.

"We've got some very strong riders here so it's up to us to take on the race. Tao did a very good job at the front all day - then the others came over. Some guys like G it's his first race back after the Tour crash, so he'll be improving during the week. 

"Everyone did a great job. The legs are there and it will come."
The action kicked off in Edinburgh

The action kicked off in Edinburgh

Stage one result:

1. Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) 4:34:17
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) s.t.
3. Elia Viviani (Team Sky)
4. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin)
5. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)

Overall standings:

1. Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) 4:34:07
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) +3"
3. Karol Domagalski (One Pro Cycling) +4"
4. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) +6"
5. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) +10"