Van Aert rides solo to stage win in Tour of Britain
Wout van Aert has won the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain in spectacular fashion. The rider of Team Jumbo-Visma attacked in the final kilometre to complete a perfectly executed plan. Van Aert crossed the line three seconds ahead of the peloton and is now the new leader of the general classification.
For a long time, the stage to and from Felixstowe looked like it would end in a bunch sprint. All eyes were on sprinter Olav Kooij, the strongest rider in the first four stages. With one kilometre to go, Kooij left a gap on Van Aert's wheel, and the Belgian went solo to cross the line first in Felixstowe.
"It's great to win like this”, beamed the stage winner. "It was exactly what we had planned. We felt the other teams were adjusting their lead-out for the sprint. I was able to take advantage of that today.”
According to Van Aert, it wasn't easy at the end. "It was a very tough last kilometre. The wind was really strong. I gave it my all, and I'm happy to have finished it off.”
"The way we are riding as a team this week makes me proud. We always try to win a race together."
The victory was the fifth stage win for Team Jumbo-Visma this week in Great Britain and the 57th of the season. Van Aert took over the leader's jersey from teammate Kooij, who is now fourth in the general classification.
The winner of four stages was also euphoric after Van Aert's victory. "This is great. When we came back to the room yesterday, we made this plan. We made it look like we were going for the sprint again with me”, Kooij said. "But we surprised everyone with Wout's attack.”
"We surprised everyone with Wout's attack. This is so great."
The way the team won particularly appealed to the 28-year-old Van Aert. "As a team, we always try to win a race together. That's the way we work. I had four great days as Olav's lead-out. The way we are riding as a team this week makes me proud. It's great to make a plan like this and then dare to do it together - just another great day for the team.”