Attacking Van Aert falls just short at Tour of Britain
Wout van Aert gave it his all on stage seven of the Tour of Britain but fell just short. The Belgian rider of Team Jumbo-Visma attacked several times but saw his final breakaway attempt fail in the last kilometre. With one stage to go, Van Aert still leads the general classification.
After six almost entirely flat stages, the penultimate stage of the British stage race was hilly. The highlight came 25 kilometres from the finish. On Crawley Hill, the Jumbo-Visma team caused quite a stir. Olav Kooij put Van Aert in a good position, and the Belgian set a blistering pace. Few riders were able to keep the wheel of the unleashed Van Aert.
Once the bunch was caught, the stage looked set to end in a bunch sprint, but nothing was further from the truth. With four kilometres to go, the 28-year-old rider attacked again. Unfortunately, he was caught again with the finish line in sight.
Van Aert eventually gave way to a well-cooperating group in his wake. "For a moment, I thought it was looking good. But the group was too strong, with several domestiques who could ride empty. I felt excellent today. Maybe I rode too enthusiastically, but at least I gave it my all. It would have been nice if I could have rewarded the team's good work with a win”, Van Aert said.
"Maybe I rode too enthusiastically"
"I'm happy to still be in the leader's jersey. We're in a good position with one stage to go, but this is far from over. Maybe a better plan is to be a bit more careful tomorrow. I isolated myself today by starting a bit too early. I expect it to be a man-to-man battle tomorrow. The strongest will win on tomorrow's course. Hopefully, we can take the overall win.”