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Van Aert: Tour of Britain was more than I dared dream ofBelgian showing top form ahead of Worlds, Paris-Roubaix
Belgian champion Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) snatched the overall Tour of Britain from Ineos Grenadiers' Ethan Hayter on the final stage to Aberdeen, taking the sprint victory and the 10-second time bonus.
Van Aert went into the stage just four seconds behind Hayter and looked to be out of contention as André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quickstep) opened up the sprint. But the Belgian phenom made a late charge as Hayter found himself boxed in and finished a distant 11th.
Van Aert won four of the race's eight stages. Hayter held onto second place overall and the points classification, while Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) was third.
Jacob Scott (Canyon DHB Sungod) won the sprints classification, mountains classification and combativity prize.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma||31:42:22|
|2||Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers||0:00:06|
|3||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:00:27|
|4||Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:00:41|
|5||Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation||0:01:00|
|6||Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers||0:01:14|
|7||Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation||0:01:16|
|8||Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix||0:01:43|
|9||Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM||0:02:04|
|10||Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers||0:02:07|
The 17th edition of the Tour of Britain, rescheduled after the cancellation last year, starts with a 180.8-kilometre hilly stage in south-west England, concluding with an uphill finish in Bodmin after having taken in three third-category climbs along the way.
Stage 2 will take the riders to Devon for another challenging day, this time featuring three second-category climbs spread across the 184-kilometre route. Exeter hosts the finish for the first time since Matthias Brändle's solo victory in 2014.
The third stage brings the challenge of a team time trial for only the third time in race history. The 27.7-kilometre test runs from Llandilo to the National Botanic Garden of Wales, and the hilly course should provide a major GC sort-out.
Stage 4 is the queen stage of the race, taking riders from south to north Wales as they skirt Cardigan Bay on the 210.2-kilometre day from Aberaeron to Llandudno. The coastal resort town will host an brutal uphill finish on the Great Orme (1.9km at 9.8 per cent), with a less steep lap of the headland preceding the finale.
The fifth stage sees the peloton head from Alderley to a likely sprint finish in Warrington. The 152km stage features several climbs along the way, though confined to the first half of the day.
Stage 6 takes the peloton across the far north of England from Carlisle to Gateshead. The 197.4-kilometre stage brings three first-category climbs along the way and further climbing towards the end of the stage en route to an uphill finish in Gateshead, which hosted stage finishes in 2008 and 2009.
The town of Hawick near the English border kicks off the first of two days in Scotland to conclude the race. The peloton face another hilly day with two second-category climbs dotted along the 195.7-kilometre route to Edinburgh, where the finish will be staged below Arthur's Seat.
The final stage – the most northerly ever to feature in the race – takes the riders 173 kilometres from Stonehaven to Aberdeen, with the first-category Cairn o'Mount providing a stern test early on, with more hilly lying in wait on the way to the finish.
The 2021 edition of the race – back after a year off due to COVID-19 – attracts a strong start list featuring several riders aiming to build form ahead of the Road World Championships in Flanders at the end of September.
Reigning world champion Julian Alaphilippe heads up Deceuninck-QuickStep and will be among the overall favourites having won the race in 2018.
He'll do battle with a very strong Ineos Grenadiers squad, headed up by Ethan Hayter, Michał Kwiatkowski, Rohan Dennis, and Richie Porte. Jumbo-Visma also bring a strong team with Wout van Aert, Tobias Foss, and George Bennett racing.
Israel Start-Up Nation can rely on Dan Martin and Michael Woods, while Marc Soler leads Movistar, and James Shaw will look to impress at British Continental team Ribble Weldtite.
Tour de France green jersey winner Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is the strongest sprinter in the lineup. He'll do battle with André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation), Dan McLay (Arkéa-Samsic), and the DSM duo of Max Kanter and Nils Eekhoff.
Tour of Britain most successful riders
- Edvald Boasson Hagen (2009 and 2015) is the only man to win more than one edition of the modern Tour of Britain.
- Julian Alaphilippe and Mathieu van der Poel won the race in 2018 and 2019.
- Home winners have included Bradley Wiggins, Max Sciandri and Steve Cummings.
- Mark Cavendish (10) has won the most stages of the race, followed by Boasson Hagen (8) and André Greipel (7).
Tour of Britain teams
- Ineos Grenadiers
- Israel Start-Up Nation
- Team DSM
- Qhubeka NextHash
- Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
- Canyon dhb SunGod
- Global 6 Cycling
- Great Britain
- Rally Cycling
- Ribble Weldtite
- Saint Piran
- Trinity Racing
Tour of Britain 2021
News British rider set to be announced at a new team in the coming days after he secures his own future
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