Cycling: Strong start for Hayles in capital

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The Independent Online

Rob Hayles upstaged Great Britain's Olympic cycling heroes at the opening Tour of Britain stage in London yesterday. The 35-year-old Hampshire rider finished the 53-mile stage in second, as the Italian Alessandro Petacchi took the first yellow jersey.

His fellow Italian Danilo Di Luca led for most of the London stage, which took in the capital's landmarks and featured a King of the Mountains climb at Tower Hill, but paid the price of going out too hard, with Hayles storming past him late to pick up 14 points.

Several British Olympians turned out for a victory lap, with double gold-medallist Bradley Wiggins's mind clearly elsewhere as he finished two places from last in 93rd. The Beijing bronze medallist Chris Newton was 75th, while Roger Hammond, who failed to finish the road race in Beijing, restored Team GB respectability coming home sixth.