Authors: Rio Sports
Lars Boom of the Netherlands secured his second Tour of Britain title as Edvald Boasson Hagen won the final stage in Cardiff on Sunday. The Team Lotto NL-Jumbo rider finished in the peloton to ensure victory by eight seconds from the Norwegian, who had moved ahead of the Swiss rider Stefan Kung two further seconds behind.
“I didn’t expect today to be that hard,” said Boom, who last won it six years ago, “especially with the intermediate sprints and then some really tough climbs. I like racing in Britain because since 2011 and the Olympics I always have a good feeling here. The weather suits me.”
Boasson Hagen, of Team Dimension Data, finished the 180-km eighth stage from Worcester in 4hr 19min after breaking away with three kilometres to go. The highest-placed Briton was Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, seventh, while his team-mate Mark Cavendish abandoned on the final day of his first race since his withdrawal from the Tour de France.
The Belgian rider Victor Campenaerts of Team Lotto and Poland’s Michail Kwiatkowksi, also of Team Sky, completed the top five of the general classification.
“It feels good to finally get this victory. We had a plan from the beginning of the day for me to try to attack with two or three kilometres to go,” said Boasson Hagen, whose mood was in direct contrast to that of the Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff after he finished third on Sunday, the third time he has done so in this year’s event. “For sure this week has been a bit frustrating as I haven’t won,” he told Cycling Weekly. “Today I think I had the best sprint. OK, [Maximiliano] Richeze beat me but he got a gap at the corner and I still beat [Elia] Viviani and [Fernando] Gaviria, but still only got third place.
“Day by day I have made some mistakes. I know it is difficult to win, but I was hoping to. All the time I have been top-five, except for the time trial. I have good shape, I only just wish that I could change a few of the finishes with a victory.
“It was the same in the Classics. I was fifth in Flanders and fourth in San Remo. I have been up there but not won.”
The final stage, which took place in rain and windy conditions en route to the Welsh capital, started fast, with the main bunch almost split in two. There was no immediate breakaway, with the overall favourites present in the front group.
A breakaway did eventually form on Belmont Hill as the battle for mountain points heated up, with Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) and Mark Stewart (An Post‑Chain Reaction) getting away with 35km to go. The group was eventually caught and a sprint finish looked the most likely outcome. Things began to break up as Boom, Boasson Hagen, Kwiatkowski and Küng went for the final intermediate bonus seconds with one lap to go, with Kwiatkowski taking it ahead of Boom and Küng.
Boasson Hagen attacked towards the end and as planned as he aimed to secure a third career overall classification at this event, and while the Norwegian was able to take the stage victory he could not prevent Boom from securing the overall title.
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