Ethan Vernon (Great Britain) and Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) are keeping race diaries for The British Continental throughout the Tour of Britain. This is Ethan’s diary entry after stage 1
We are all pleased with our legs and with a few minor corrections at the end, I think we have a good chance of winning a stage
Stage 1 wrap
First year out of the junior ranks. First Tour of Britain. First stage. First top 15.
Stage 1 ended in an expected bunch sprint, with Jumbo-Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen taking stage honours. The Great Britain were to the fore in the finale, with Matt Walls finishing 11th and Ethan himself taking 14th place.
It was a really good experience today! The crowds and support in every town made the long 207km stage much easier. A break went in the first 20 minutes containing 6 riders, which stayed out front for most of the day. We weren’t too worried about it going up the road. Jumbo-Visma controlled the gap straightaway and kept it between 1-2 minutes the whole day, which made it quite a tough day out.
The finish was pretty hectic for us. We lost Rhys [Britton] to a crash with about 10 km to go and we kept getting split up as it was a tricky fast finish (we hit 90 kph+ in the last few kilometres!). We finally got back together with 1 km to go but at that point we were too late and too far back. I was last lead out man and launched my sprint the wrong side and got boxed between two riders going backwards. Matt Walls (our sprinter) ended up 11th on the stage and me 14th. We are all pleased with our legs though and with a few minor corrections at the end, I think we have a good chance of winning a stage.
Tomorrow’s stage looks similar to today’s, just shorter. So I imagine our day tomorrow will look similar to today’s, just with a more dialled lead-out at the end and a better result!
Featured photo: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com. 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain 2019 – Stage 1 Glasgow to Kirkcudbright, Scotland