October 20, 2021


Wout van Aert powers to late Tour of Britain triumph in dramatic finale

Following eight days of hustling, the Tour of Britain boiled down to the last 100 meters and a solitary imperious explosion of speed from Wout van Aert on the Esplanade in Aberdeen. With faultless planning, the Belgian flooded out from behind Mark Cavendish to take his fourth stage win of the week, with the overnight pioneer Ethan Hayter an inconsolable eleventh subsequent to being removed in a couple of seconds.Starting the stage with a four second benefit on the Belgian, and with time rewards deducted on the end goal, Hayter realized that if Van Aert won or completed second he should have been quickly behind him. On paper, that sounded straightforward, yet in the fuming mass of bodies and bicycles that challenged this pack run the result might have gone in any case, with the two riders on the other hand deterred then free as the completion unfurled.

All bar the remainder of the 173km went in a perfect world for Hayter, with the overcomers of the stage-long breakaway enduring adamantly under the impulsion of the Exeter stage victor Robin Carpenter and two energetic abilities, the 19-year-old Londoner Thomas Gloag and the 21-year-old Irish public hero Ben Healy.

The departure gathered up the time rewards at the three middle runs, working on Hayter’s errand, and carrying them to book was sufficiently troublesome to drain the strength of Cavendish’s and Van Aert’s groups.

As the last meters started, Ineos were ready for action, yet controlling an anarchic bundle run to suit their young chief demonstrated past them. 100 meters out Hayter was free, in any case, with open street ahead while Van Aert, to one side on the other shoulder of the American Colin Joyce, needed to battle with Cavendish’s last lead-out man, the title holder Julian Alaphilippe dropping back in his way.

Some way or another, Van Aert stayed away from Alaphilippe, adhering tight to Cavendish’s wheel with Hayter to one side. For a moment the pair were side by side, however as Cavendish and Greipel opened up down the left, Van Aert some way or another tracked down an additional an ounce of speed to blast between Andre Greipel and Hayter, who had no reaction, and slipped back out of the main 10.

It was the initial occasion when the 22-year-old had overlooked anything in eight days, and some viewpoint can be taken from the way that the rider who showed him a perfect pair of heels will be top choice to win the world street race title in about fourteen days, while Alaphilippe, the defending champ, completed just third and never checked out his bubbly best.

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