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Van Aert wins Tour of Britain queen stage in prestigious duel

Van Aert wins Tour of Britain queen stage in prestigious duel

Wout van Aert has won the Tour of Britain’s queen stage with great display of power. The Belgian champion beat world champion Julian Alaphilippe on the steep final climb. Thanks to his victory, Van Aert recaptured the lead in the general classification.

In the fourth stage the riders had to cope with three thousand altitude metres in a stage of more than 210 kilometres. A front group of six riders immediately broke away. Thanks to Team Jumbo-Visma the breakaway riders were caught before the final even started.

In the final kilometres, Pascal Eenkhoorn and George Bennett proved to be ideal teammates for Van Aert. Eenkhoorn kept the Belgian leader at the front on the penultimate climb of the day. A little later, Bennett personally made sure Van Aert was dropped in a good position at the foot of the final climb.

Woods was the first to attack. Van Aert seemed to give in for a moment, but a few seconds later he caught up with the Canadian and the world champion. After Alaphilippe had started the sprint from behind Van Aert, the versatile Belgian of Team Jumbo-Visma didn’t hesitate for a moment. After a sprint on the edge, Van Aert won for the second time this race.

"I am very happy with this victory."

Wout van Aert

“It was painful for two kilometres”, said Van Aert. “At the bottom of the final climb it was very steep. I set myself the goal to survive that tricky part. We knew Alaphilippe and Woods would be the biggest competitors today. When I was in the wheel of those guys, I knew I could rely on my sprint. I was also thinking about the general classification. When Julian attacked, I put in a good sprint. This was a very nice finish. I put this victory high on my list. It may not be the biggest race I have won, but I will be happy with the way I did it for a long time. I am very happy with this victory.”

"I tried to motivate the team all day long."

Wout van Aert

The Belgian champion says he has a lot of confidence at the moment. “I studied the course beforehand. I knew it was very important to be in a good position at the bottom of the climb. Woods attacked early. From that moment on there was nothing else to do but ride full speed to the finish. For me this was the most important stage of this tour. This has been a good test for me. On paper today’s course seemed to be just a bit too difficult for me. However, it turns out that with confidence a lot is possible. I tried to motivate the team all day long. They worked hard all day to put me in the best possible position at the foot of the final climb. I was able to go just over the limit to get this win. I had to dig really deep.”

For Van Aert, it is his tenth victory of the season. That brings Team Jumbo-Visma’s tally to thirty-five victories.

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