Bronze for Kooij at world championships U23
Olav Kooij has won the bronze medal at the world championship U23. The nineteen-...
Wout van Aert has been unable to sprint for the places of honours due to an unfortunate moment in the final phase of the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain. The Belgian champion ended up behind a crash. Partly due to that setback, Van Aert lost the leader’s jersey.
With five riders in the breakaway the stage to Warrington took a traditional course. The peloton was in control all day and caught the five riders in time.
Nothing stood in the way of a bunch sprint. After several riders crashed in the final corner, Van Aert was forced to abandon his sprint ambitions. The Belgian had to hit the brakes and lost so much speed that it was impossible to continue the sprint. Thanks to the bonification seconds, day winner Ethan Hayter took over the blue leader’s jersey from Van Aert.
"With regard to what’s still to come, I’m happy that I arrived at the finish in one piece."
“I’m especially happy that I didn’t suffer any physical damage”, a relieved Van Aert said. “I my mind, I was well placed in the last kilometre. I chose the wheel of Mark Cavendish. It was hectic. The road surface was wet and that also caused some riders to crash. I was able to hit the brakes just in time to make sure I didn’t crash. Unfortunately, after this incident the chances for a sprint disappeared immediately. The goal for today was to defend the jersey. But the most important thing is to avoid unnecessary risks. With regard to what’s still to come, I’m happy that I arrived at the finish in one piece", Van Aert concluded.
"In the end, we count our blessings and are relieved that Wout is unharmed."
Sports director Jan Boven had mixed feelings about the stage. “It’s never fun to lose the leader’s jersey. The whole day the race situation went according to plan. The final was chaotic. We had done our homework well. We knew there were some dangerous corners in the course. Unfortunately, in the last corner a rider slipped, which meant Wout had no chance in the sprint. In the end, we count our blessings and are relieved that Wout is unharmed.”