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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, September 12, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

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Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is. - Francis Bacon

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Tour of Britain's stage seven team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Yves Lampaert's Team Deceuninck-Quick Step with the results.

Here's the report from GC leader Ethan Hayter's INEOS Grenadiers team:

The INEOS Grenadiers combined well on an undulating stage seven of the Tour of Britain to ensure Ethan Hayter begins the final stage in the race lead.

Yves Lampaert

Yves Lampaert won stage seven. Tour of Britain photo

The break prevailed on the 194.5km test to Edinburgh, with Hayter leading home his general classification rivals shortly after Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck - Quick Step) had celebrated the stage win.

Earlier, a small break had escaped and quickly amassed a large advantage of close to nine minutes at its peak. While the breakaway were not an immediate GC threat, only Movistar's Matteo Jorgensen was within five minutes of Hayter, Richie Porte and Owain Doull were key in pulling on the front of the bunch to control the gap.

The duo took turns to lead the peloton before Michal Kwiatkowski and Rohan Dennis also helped maintain the gap.  In the final 30 kilometres  several teams tried too late to bring the break to heel, with Dennis then leading out Hayter to finish sixth on the stage and maintain his four second advantage overall heading into the final stage.

A late split in the peloton pushed Dennis up to fifth overall, with Carlos Rodriguez now seventh to make it three Grenadiers in the top 10 on GC.

Ethan Hayter:
“Today was relaxed in terms of stressing about fighting for position but was still full-on with a good amount of climbing and small roads.

"A good breakaway went, we were quite happy with it - the nearest guy was five minutes down on GC and to be honest we’d have needed another team to help, so we decided just to hold them at a point where we’d keep the GC.

"Richie and Owain rode all day and were really strong. It was a really nice day with nice scenery and it’s good to keep the jersey going into tomorrow.

"I''m looking forward to tomorrow and it’s more likely to be a bunch sprint, with more teams interested so it might come down to a sprint between me and Wout - It’d be nice to try and win the stage."

Here's the report from Team Jumbo-Visma:

Pascal Eenkhoorn has finished fifth in the seventh stage of the Tour of Britain. The rider of Team Jumbo-Visma was in the breakaway of the day, but fell just short of victory. Wout van Aert finished seventh and maintained his second place in the general classification.

Wout van Aert

Wout van Aert (shown winning stage one) remains in second place.

Eenkhoorn proved to be an ideal teammate for Van Aert in earlier stages and played a crucial role in stage wins, especially in the final stages. Today the Dutchman went for his own chance and jumped into the early breakaway.

The strong front group of six built up a lead of more than eight minutes before the peloton went in pursuit. The breakaway held on and five riders battled for the day’s victory in the final kilometres.

“The final was a tactical joust”, Eenkhoorn said. “My plan was to keep everything together for as long as possible. That was better for me. I had my doubts on the last climb and in hindsight I should have kept up the pace. Deceuninck-Quickstep eventually played the game best with only two men. Yves Lampaert attacked and I couldn’t close the gap anymore. Of course it sucks when you get a chance like that, but I’m feeling well all this tour. And tomorrow we’ll go for it again.”

Sport director Frans Maassen foresees an exciting battle for the general classification in the last stage. “We didn’t win anything today, but we didn’t lose anything either. We knew there was a good chance the breakaway would make it to the end. With Pascal we had the best man in the breakaway and we had the chance to win it. He came up just a bit short and wasn’t able to make a difference anymore. We chose this tactic today and another one turned out to be just a bit better. Tomorrow we’ll have another chance for the final victory. It won’t be easy, but that goes for everybody.”

Here's the stage seven report from Max Kanter's Team DSM:

The Tour of Britain crossed the border today and headed into Scotland, with a rolling and hilly 195 kilometre route from Hawick to the capital, Edinburgh. It was a fast and frenetic start to the day as multiple attacks were made at the front of the peloton, with the team active as the breakaway tried to form. Eventually the elastic snapped and a strong six rider group went clear, with all Team DSM riders in the bunch.

The breakaway worked well together and managed to extend their gap to over nine minutes, as the peloton lent on the race leader’s team to close the gap. Despite their advantage decreasing, the break held onto three minutes and 30 seconds going into the last 15 kilometres, and it was clear they would fight it out for the stage win. With the pace high in the bunch on the technical run in to the line, Max Kanter got up in the sprint for a solid eighth place from the chasing peloton.

Max Kanter

Max Kanter racing in the 2019 Tour of Poland. Sirotti photo

“It was a though stage today with a high pace all day long,” explained Kanter after the stage. “In the beginning we tried to jump into the breakaway as there was a high chance that the early break would make it today. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite make it and we tried to settle back in the bunch to see what was still possible at the finish. As the gap was too big in the end we focused on keeping Nico and Mark safe in the GC and to set me up to still go for a sprint from the bunch. I came into the finish in eighth which is still a solid result. Tomorrow we have the last stage here in Britain, and we will try to finish it off in a good way.”

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