photo credits @ ToB
Olav Kooij equalled Edvald Boasson Hagen’s record of four-consecutive Tour of Britain stage victories after winning in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire today.
The Dutchman once again benefited from a brilliant lead-out from his Jumbo – Visma team-mate Wout van Aert after the likes of TRINITY Racing, BORA – hansgrohe, and INEOS Grenadiers attempted to form their own trains approaching the historic town’s finish line.
Casper van Uden (Team dsm – firmenich) placed second, with Ethan Vernon continuing his consistent week by placing third.
Unsurprisingly, Kooij continues to lead the race’s general classification and tops the standings in the cottages.com points and Sportive Breaks best young rider competitions.
A bunch sprint was always on the cards after two TDT – Unibet Cycling Team riders – Brit Harry Tanfield and Belgian Abram Stockman – were caught 27.5 kilometers outside of Newark-on-Trent.
Jumbo-Visma took the wrong line around a fast left turn with four kilometres to go and so Van Aert was forced to make an effort to position Kooij but the WorldTeam were again dominant and soon moved up to the front.
Kooij lost Van Aert’s wheel but dived under a rider with a kilometre to go to get back to the sweep spot for the sprint.
The Belgian then came off Nathan Van Hooydonck’s wheel, with Kooij kicking away in the final 150 meters to win yet again and set a Tour of Britain win record.
“You never get used to winning, it’s always nice but also always difficult in sprints,” Kooij said.
“Again the control by the guys was really good. We lost a rider in the final kilometers but we still managed to pull it off. The guys we have here are proven. They know what to do, they’ve got the experience and the power.”
TDT-Unibet was omnipresent in breakaway, once again up the road at the start of the stage.
Leaving Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest, the duo of Harry Tanfield and Abram Stockman were initially joined by James Fouché (Bolton Equities Black Spoke), but were left to go two-up after the Kiwi dropped back to the pack at the midway point after taking full points on the KOM.
The duo’s foray lasted until Newark-on-Trent, where they were reeled in by a Jumbo-Visma-fronted peloton.
As the finish line approached, the race grew more technical and chaotic, littered with tricky bends. Jumbo-Visma were caught out by one right-hander, falling back ten places in the peloton, but battled their way back to the front, where their tactics gave a sense of déjà vu.
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