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Tour of Britain 2018: Stage 7


 Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the penultimate stage of the 2018 Tour of Britain running 215.6km from West Bridgford to Mansfield.

It should be a day for the sprinters, with three fourth category climbs coming in the first half of the stage before a few unclassified lumps near the end of the stage.


André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) is among the favourites for the win today. He's already won two stages this week. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) and Fernando Gaviria (Quick Step Floors) should be the German's biggest rivals for the win.


Other fast men left in the race include Patrick Bevin (BMC), Gabriel Cullaigh (Team Wiggins), Jürgen Roelandts (BMC) and Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)


Here's the general classification heading into this weekend. We're not expecting any big changes here given the nature of the stage.


1. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) 19:46:54

2. Wout Poels (Team Sky) +00:17

3. Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo) +00:32

4. Patrick Bevin (BMC) +00:46

5. Bob Jungels (Quick Step Floors) +00:51

6. Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) +00:58

7. Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo) +1:09

8. Dmitry Strakhov (Katusha-Alpecin) +01:24

9. Chris Hamilton (Team Sunweb) +01:28

10. Pascal Eenkhoorn (LottoNL-Jumbo) +01:35


The peloton will be riding out of West Bridgford in around five minutes, with a 15-minute neutralised zone coming before the start proper.


Yesterday's stage to Whinlatter Pass saw Wout Poels (Team Sky) take the stage win. The Dutchman rode across to an attacking group comprised of Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors), Hugh Carthy (EF-Drapac) and Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo) before outpacing Alaphilippe to the line.


The Frenchman did come away with the race lead though, his turn of pace doing away with his main GC rival Roglič. He now looks sure of overall victory, barring a disaster on these final two stages.



And we're off. The peloton are riding through the neutralised zone now.

We could see a fight for the black KOM jersey today. Matthews Holmes (Madison-Genesis) lies just six points behind Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data), who leads on 49 points. There are nine points up for grabs today.


215km remaining from 223km

The flag drops and racing is underway on stage 7!

It's no surprise that Holmes and Dlamini are among those at the front of the peloton.


212km remaining from 223km

Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Énergie) is on the attack now. Read our interview with the Frenchman from yesterday.


I want to remain professional to the very end... There are races to do and I want to be competitive.


209km remaining from 223km

There are spots of rain on the helicopter camera. Still, a number of riders are trying to get away.


Holmes is still having a go, while Dlamini is sticking right on his wheel.


Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) is trying again.


204km remaining from 223km

We're about 10km from the first climb of the day.


201km remaining from 223km

We still haven't seen a breakaway establish themselves.


A group of around 22 riders have split from the front of the peloton now. Ian Stannard (Team Sky) and Bob Jungels (Quick Step Floors) are up there.


199km remaining from 223km

Here's a look at the first climb of the day, coming up in a few kilometres.



Moreno Hofland (Lotto-Soudal), his teammate James Shaw, Nils Politt and Pascal Eenkhoorn (LottoNL-Jumbo) are also involved.


Team Sky are chasing the large group down.


That break group has been brought back now. We're about to hit the climb.


196km remaining from 223km

And Chavanel tries again. Connor Swift (Madison-Genesis) is on his wheel.


The peloton is lined out behind Chavanel. It seems that nobody is keen to let any moves go yet.


Stannard tries again on the climb but can't get a gap.


Jos Van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) leads over the first climb of the day. Neither Dlamini or Holmes took points.


194km remaining from 223km

Another large group has split away over the top of the climb. Stannard is trying to solo away from that group.


There are around three groups splintered off the front of the peloton on the descent.


The peloton have calmed down now, and they're happy to let the break go. We'll let you know when we have confirmation of the group.


Ian Stannard is up front alone, while Nils Politt has dropped back to a chase group.


Dion Smith, Mark McNally (both Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Alex Paton (Canyon-Eisberg) and Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF) are chasing, 10 seconds behind Stannard.


The peloton is almost a minute back.


Stannard dropped back to the chasers.


183km remaining from 223km

And now Smith drops back from the break. He's 19th overall at +2:27, so perhaps that's the reason – to let the break do their thing without worrying about the peloton chasing them down.


Madison-Genesis tried to close the gap with Connor Swift at the front of the peloton, but they seem to have given up now. The gap is edging out towards a minute.


175km remaining from 223km

The gap has quickly ballooned up to over 2 minutes.


Quick Step Floors are leading the peloton. We're 10km from the next classified climb, Bank Hill.


164km remaining from 223km

The break now has a five-minute advantage.


160km remaining from 223km

The break are now on the second climb of the day, Bank Hill. Once they crest the summit, Nicholas Dlamini will be confirmed as the KOM winner.




Politt rolls over the summit ahead of McNally and Paton.


With that result, Dlamini confirms his black KOM jersey win. There's just one climb left in the race now, offering three points, and the Dimension Data man enjoys a six-point lead.


A mere 150km to go now.


And here's the final climb of the day, and of the race as a whole. The break are 2km away from the start.



146km remaining from 223km

Stannard, Carboni and McNally take the points at the top of the climb.


We have 46km to go until the next point of the interest on the route – the first intermediate sprint of the day.


140km remaining from 223km

Canyon-Eisberg have a man on the front of the peloton. Curious, given they have Paton in the break. Quick Step Floors are massed behind him.


The time gap between the break and peloton is almost seven minutes at the moment.


The situation is still largely the same with 128km to go. A Sunweb rider has moved to the front of the peloton now, too.


Over in the Vuelta, Michał Kwiatkowski is out in the break along with Michael Woods, Nicolas Roche, Alessandro De Marchi, Thomas De Gendt and Iván García Cortina. They are three minutes ahead of the peloton after 30km of racing.


You can follow stage 14 of the Vuelta live here.


119km remaining from 223km

One Pro Cycling have put Chris Latham on the front of the peloton. They have Emīls Liepiņš, who finished third in Bristol, for today's sprint finish.


111km remaining from 223km

11km to go until the intermediate sprint in Retford. It's still raining.


Add your source here:

To add to the difficulty of the stage, rain is making its presence felt at #OVOToB.

To add to the difficulty of the stage, rain is making its presence felt at #OVOToB.


Yep, pretty much.

The intermediate sprint is up in 3km. Some action, finally!


102km remaining from 223km

Matthew Holmes (Madison-Genesis) leads the sprints competition with 9 points. Up in the break Alex Paton is on 4 points, so he could take the red jersey today, with 9 points up for grabs over the next 40km.


Paton does indeed take the points. He's on 7 now.


Here's a shot of the break from a few minutes ago. It's a nice day for a bike race.



Team Sunweb, Mitchelton-Scott and Quick Step Floors are on the front of the peloton at the moment.


92km remaining from 223km

Politt and Stannard took second and third behind Paton at the sprint, though that's not a particularly important detail.


1km to the second sprint of the day now.


And Paton takes the maximum three points, ahead of McNally and Stannard. The Canyon-Eisberg man is the new leader of the sprints classification.


80km remaining from 223km

Woah, big drama on the road with 80km to g- nah, just kidding. The break are still around 6:30 up the road while Mitchelton-Scott and Quick Step Floors work on the front of the peloton.


It's still raining.


Away from the race, Marcel Kittel has put an end to his season, a frustrating one in which has seen him win just two races – two stages at Tirreno-Adriatico.


"Unfortunately, I have to end my season now... It is not so easy to find the cause for my bad feeling on the bike, unfortunately. Luckily, there is no virus involved, but it is clear that my body simply needs peace and quite right now."


Read the full story here.


70km remaining from 223km

70km to go now and the gap is down a bit. The peloton are now 5:50 behind the break. They have them in their sights now!



It goes without saying that today's #OVOToB stage passes through Sherwood Forest and its famous 800-year-old oak tree, where supposedly Kevin Costner hid from Alan Rickman, before the latter gave life to Hans Gruber, one of the greatest villains of all time.


61km remaining from 223km

Here's the third sprint of the day. Paton rides through to take another three points ahead of Carboni and McNally.


Paton now has 13 points, while Holmes remains on 9. Tomorrow there are 9 points up for grabs, so we could see a big battle on the streets of London for the single remaining undecided competition.


The gap is coming down as we get closer to the finish. It's under five minutes now.


50km remaining from 223km

Aas the break head into the final 50km, they're battered by some pretty strong winds on the exposed country roads. Some echelon action on the way, perhaps?


The peloton is really lined out here.


43km to go and the peloton are 4:30 down on the break. No echelons, unfortunately.


42km remaining from 223km

Mark McNally has been dropped from the break.


So now it's just Stannard, Carboni and Politt up front.


39km remaining from 223km

McNally has made it back to the break! There are no classified climbs left, of course, but it's a lumpy final 40km.



To add to the difficulty of the stage, rain is making its presence felt at #OVOToB.


Yep, pretty much.

30km remaining from 223km

We're in the final 30km of the race now. The gap is four minutes. Can the break do this?

Over in Spain there's under 50km to the line, another ludicrously steep summit finish at Les Praeres. A strong six-man break is two minutes up on the peloton as they hit the final climbs of the stage.


Follow live here.


22km remaining from 223km

Ian Stannard has attacked the break. Politt managed to get on the Brit's wheel but Carboni and McNally didn't make it across. Perfect Stannard conditions, really.


20km remaining from 223km

The gap to the peloton has gone back out to over 4:30 now, so it looks certain that Stannard and Politt will contest the victory.


19km remaining from 223km

Stannard has a go again on a small rise.


Stannard looked down and his glasses fell from his helmet onto the road. I'm sure he has other things on his mind right now, though.


16km remaining from 223km

And Stannard goes again! He's attacking every time there's a hint of uphill. Politt doesn't immediately close the gap.


Politt hasn't made it back. The German's hopes of winning are fading by the metre.


12km remaining from 223km

Politt is around five seconds back on this downhill section.


10km remaining from 223km

The gap seems quite stable, despite Politt's efforts.


7km remaining from 223km

Politt can see Stannard on these straight roads, but isn't making any headway. Frustrating.


6km remaining from 223km

Stannard gains a few seconds as the road rises again.


5km remaining from 223km

Now Politt is over 15 seconds back.


5km remaining from 223km

And it looks like it's over. The graphic says that Politt is 25 seconds down now.


4km remaining from 223km

Jos Van Emden has attacked from the peloton. The LottonNL-Jumbo rider lies 13th overall, at +1:38.


3km remaining from 223km

He's quickly brought back, though.


1km remaining from 223km

Final kilometre for Stannard. He can celebrate his first win in over a year now.


Ian Stannard (Team Sky) wins stage 7 of the Tour of Britain!


Politt crosses the line just under a minute down.


Quick Step are leading the peloton. The points classification is up for grabs, with Patrick Bevin (BMC) leading on 51 points. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) has 41, and André Greipel  (Lotto-Soudal) is on 30.


Carboni waves at the crowd as he crosses the line, just over three minutes down.


And McNally is fourth, just under four minutes back.


It looked like Emīls Liepiņš (One Pro Cycling) led the peloton across the line, with Bevin and Ethan Hayer (Great Britain) also up there.


Here's the stage 7 top ten:


1. Ian Stannard (Team Sky) 4:56:27

2. Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) +00:59

3. Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF) +03:09

4. Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) +03:54

5. Emīls Liepiņš (One Pro Cycling) +04:04

6. Patrick Bevin (BMC)

7. Ethan Hayter (Great Britain)

8. Paolo Simion (Bardiani-CSF)

9. Andrew Tennant (Canyon-Eisberg)

10. Nils Eekhoff (Team Sunweb)


Ian Stannard's post-race interview:


We were worried about the wind but once we got racing it wasn't as bad as we thought and went with some moves and ended up where I was.


Once I got to 1km to go [I was pleased], but it was always pretty close – like 7-8 seconds so it was getting tough. But there were a few more kicks towards the end and I managed to get more of a gap so I was happy then.


Once I got in the break I was pretty confident. I looked at the guys and how they were riding all day and kind of knew I had the edge.


General classification after stage 7:


1. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) 24:47:25

2. Wout Poels (Team Sky) +00:17

3. Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo) +00:33

4. Patrick Bevin (BMC) +00:46

5. Bob Jungels (Quick Step Floors) +00:51

6. Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) +00:58

7. Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo) +1:10

8. Dmitry Strakhov (Katusha-Alpecin) +01:24

9. Chris Hamilton (Team Sunweb) +01:28

10. Pascal Eenkhoorn (LottoNL-Jumbo) +01:35


With Alaphilippe secure in first overall, Dlamini secure in his KOM jersey and Bevin enjoying an unassailable 20-point lead in the points jersey, all that's left to fight for is tomorrow's stage win and the sprints classification.


Tomorrow's stage is a pretty simple one – 14 laps of the 5.3km Central London circuit, with three sprints along the way. At 77km it's the shortest road stage of the race too.



And that's it from me today. Join me tomorrow afternoon (at the later of 3pm UK time) for the final stage of the Tour of Britain!


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