The first stage was an 81km Crit in London City centre. The circuit was just over 1 mile long, and had to be completed over 35 times.
At the half-way point a group of 8 riders was about 45 seconds ahead of the peleton. They were just being caught with about 15 laps to go, but then Linda McCartney's Chris Lilywhite broke away and he managed to stay clear with a Polish rider to win the final prime.
A few last ditch attacks were made, but it came down to a bunch sprint which was won by Leon Van Bon (Rabobank), with George Hincapie (US Postal) in second. The highest Irish ranking was by Ciaran Power in 9th place, who was well positioned near the front of the peleton for the last 15 or so laps. The rest of the Irish team finished in the peleton, except for Paul Butler, who finished 55 seconds down.
|1.||Leon Van Bon||Rabobank||1h31'49"|
|90.||Paul Butler||Ireland||@ 55"|