The American rider’s roommate Matt Gibson was also part of the day’s breakaway and was awarded the combativity prize at the end of the Scottish stage from Aberdeen to Glenshee Ski Centre.
“It’s always good to put some numbers on the board early in a stage race, so I’m quite happy with the day out,” Bassett said afterwards.
Having formed the five-rider breakaway, the pair rode strongly all day with Bassett finishing first across the wonderfully named Bennachie Forest, Lord’s Throat and Suie Hill climbs to finish with a total of 14 points. The 27-year-old was locked in a battle throughout the stage with Jacob Scott (WiV SunGod), who has won the past two KOM competitions at the Tour of Britain.
“He got a bit of a jump on me at the first one, the second one I got a jump on him and then the third one was kind of like a brawl,” he said about sprinting against Scott. “I was willing the bike into submission over the top of that one, not too pretty but enough.”
As explained by Gibson in our race preview, the British roads are notoriously heavy. “The grip was mostly pretty good though which was nice,” says Bassett. “There were a ton of fans out which made a hard day of biking a lot more enjoyable.”
With the rider from Knoxville, TN hunting the KOMs, Gibson could focus on the intermediate sprints, scoring points at all three on his way to the combativity prize.
“It was great to be back racing at the Tour of Britain,” Gibson said afterwards. “It was even better to spend the first day in the break picking up some points in the intermediate sprint competition and helping Steven out in taking the KOM jersey.”
The pair are roommates for the week in Britain and certainly worked well as a double act.
“It was great having Matt with me so we could split duties between chasing points and KOMs, leaving both of us fresher. There are certainly good vibes at the moment and we’re getting ready for more hard pedalling to come this week.”
The Tour continues through Scotland tomorrow as the peloton race from Hawick to Duns along a challenging hilly parcours in the final 20km. The stage will be live on GCN+ from 5 am – 10 am CT.
Tour of Britain KOM standings after stage 1
1 BASSETT Stephen – Human Powered Health 14pts
2 STRONG Corbin – Israel – Premier Tech 10
3 FRAILE Omar – INEOS Grenadiers 9
4 SCOTT Jacob – WiV SunGod 9
5 JOHANESSEN Anders Halland – Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 8
6 TEGGART Matthew – WiV SunGod 8
7 SERRANO Gonzalo – Movistar Team 7
8 GIBSON Matthew – Human Powered Health 7
9 PIDCOCK Thomas – INEOS Grenadiers 6
10 TEUNS Dylan – Israel – Premier Tech 5