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Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Saturday, 12 September 2009 17:42 UK

Wiggins helps Sutton take stage

Bradley Wiggins
Wiggins (pictured) helped team-mate Sutton take the opening stage

Australian Chris Sutton won the Tour of Britain's opening stage from Scunthorpe to York with a sprint finish.

Sutton edged out Barloworld's Italian Michele Merlo and Yorkshireman Ben Swift of Team Katusha to take the first yellow jersey of this year's race.

Bradley Wiggins, fourth in the Tour de France, helped Garmin team-mate Sutton by staying in his slipstream just off the front of the peloton.

"Bradley kept the pace high so no-one could come around us," said Sutton.

"This is one of the highlights of my career. I came close to winning a couple of stages last year so it's nice to finally win.

"My team is a roll at the moment. They can see I am so motivated and I have told them I can win three to four stages.

"It's a big ask to win the overall title but anything is possible. I just have to make sure I am on my game for the harder stages."

Relative unknowns Michael Mortensen and Thomas de Gendt might have had the biggest day of their careers had they not been held up at a level crossing.

That cost them two minutes and, as the road rolled into hills on the approach to York, their lead was eroded quickly.


Sutton, 25, was taken to the front by Wiggins after the peloton caught the two-man break - a feat that seemed unlikely at one stage with the gap built to more than 12 minutes during the 172-kilometre stage.

Wiggins is using the eight-day event as a tune-up ahead of the World Championships later this month.

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see also
Cycling's best of British
11 Sep 09 |  Cycling
Frome gears up for Tour of Britain
10 Sep 09 |  Things to do
Glovers to host Tour of Britain
13 May 09 |  Cycling
Tour of Britain win for Lequatre
14 Sep 08 |  Cycling
Foreign stars sign for Team Sky
10 Sep 09 |  Cycling

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