Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Teen Spirit Sets Up Hammond Triumph

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Teen Spirit Sets Up Hammond Triumph

Article excerpt

Byline: By Scott Dougal

Great Britain's Roger Hammond beat world champion Tom Boonen in a thrilling sprint outside Liverpool Town Hall to claim the second stage of the 2006 Tour of Britain.

The 32-year-old Hammond was led out by his team of young riders from British Cycling's Olympic academy and surged for the line when Boonen was forced wide on the final bend into Water Street.

Hammond ( expected to announce shortly he will be joining T-Mobile ( has spent the last two seasons riding for Lance Armstrong's Discovery team.

But he rated the efforts of the collection of teenagers in British colours as better than the most famous team in cycling.

"Those guys have produced a mega performance," said Hammond. "They delivered me with 400metres to go, I haven't been given that sort of service for the last two years."

Hammond was in the right place to take advantage of a mistake by Quick Step's Filippo Pozzato, who was trying to put Boonen in a winning position.

The Italian pulled right as the road turned left to allow his team-mate on to the front but accidentally took the Belgian world champion wide too.

Hammond added: "I was quite surprised ( I didn't have a much faith in the guys as probably I should have had when Quick Step started riding flat out for Tom Boonen.

"But I think if you watch the TV coverage, our guys are all at the front with a few hundred metres to go and, when you think they are only 18 and 19 years old, it's a cracking performance."

Hammond took stage two last year after a long breakaway but this year's win will be more satisfying for Great Britain directeur sportif Rod Ellingworth.

Given his six riders only raced as a unit for the first time on Tuesday, the team-work needed to hold off a charging peloton of hardened professionals was remarkable. Hammond moves up to third overall ( two minutes and 44 seconds behind the front two in the overall standings with South Australia. …

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