Tour of Britain: Mark Cavendish crashes as Luke Rowe wins

Luke Rowe

Team Sky's Luke Rowe won the first stage of the Tour of Britain after team-mate Mark Cavendish was involved in a crash 1km from the finish.

Welshman Rowe took the initiative when world road race champion Cavendish was brought down in a heavy pile-up.

He outsprinted Boy van Poppel and fellow Briton Russell Downing to win the 200km Ipswich to Norwich route.

Manxman Cavendish, nursing a cut on his left shoulder, remounted his bike to finish the stage.

Team Sky looked to have set up the perfect scenario for a trademark finish from the 27-year-old, with Britain's and Bradley Wiggins leading out a tight bunch in the closing stages.

But the narrow roads at the Norfolk Showground played some part as Cavendish, who is using the Tour as a warm-up for was caught in a crash that also involved sprint rival Tyler Farrar and wiped out a swathe of the group.

Sky were still celebrating a stage win though, as Cardiff-born Rowe, 22, a late call-up for the Tour, capitalised to take the overall leader's gold jersey.

"I'm not ruling myself out of being near the top of the general classification (GC) at the end," he told ITV4.

"I will remember that day for a long time. I've ridden all over the world and I've never seen crowds like that."

Rapha Condor Sharp's British rider Kristian House, who was part of a leading breakaway for much of the stage, finished with the King of the Mountains jersey.

Monday's second of eight stages will be a more undulating route as it winds through the Peak District on its way between Nottingham and Knowsley.

Top Stories