Race report

Cees Bol 4th after fast finale at Tour of Britain

OVO Energy Tour of Britain

After yesterday’s hilly queen stage, it was a much flatter affair at the Tour of Britain today as the peloton took on a 174 kilometre route that started and finished in Birkenhead. Despite a strong pace in the opening few kilometres a group of four soon broke clear and formed the break of the day.

With all eyes on a fast finale, Team Sunweb sent Florian Stork up to the front to drive the bunch throughout the afternoon, ensuring the breakaway’s advantage didn’t grow out too far and the day would go the way of the fast men.

A motivated team headed towards the sprint with Cees Bol in tow and it was soon Chad Haga’a turn at the front. The Giro stage winner did some good work to position the team’s lead out train near the head of the peloton before they took over in the closing kilometres. The experienced Roy Curvers hit the front near the flamme rouge before youngster Nils Eekhoff took over, powering into the last few hundred metres. Bol then delivered a good turn of speed to finish the day off with a strong fourth place in the fast finale.

“It has been quite a frustrating start for me here and I feel like I messed up three chances in the opening stages,” said Bol at the finish. “We had a bit of a different approach today and it felt good; the confidence started building. In the end we did a good team effort to put me into position for the sprint. Of course there are still some small details that could be better but I got to do a sprint today, like we wanted, and I was fourth in the end.”

Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston added: “It was a good team performance from start to finish. Florian rode really hard on the front all day to keep the gap manageable, along with another couple of teams. Over the last KOM we knew there was a chance it would go super hard, which it did. The guys stayed calm and stayed together as a team, it was a really good effort from the whole team train to come back to the front on the hectic descent and bring Cees into a good position. We’ve had a tough week and we said at the start of the day, ‘Let’s just make sure we do a sprint and do it well.’ Nils did a good job with the lead out and Cees got fourth there. Everyone is really motivated and it’s a big step forward for the coming days.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 GROENEWEGEN Dylan Team Jumbo-Visma 3:57:31 20
2 WALLS Matthew Great Britain ,, 10
3 TRENTIN Matteo Mitchelton-Scott ,, 5
4 BOL Cees Team Sunweb ,, -
35 CURVERS Roy Team Sunweb ,, -
36 HAMILTON Chris Team Sunweb ,, -
63 EEKHOFF Nils Team Sunweb ,, -
86 HAGA Chad Team Sunweb 2:13 -
97 STORK Florian Team Sunweb 3:35 -