Dylan Van Baarle clings on to win the Tour of Britain

The Tour of Britain is not a top flight race and Dylan Van Baarle’s victory would seem to reflect that. But let’s just see how he goes next season. Van Baarle beat some top riders and at 22, his best years are to come. Year by year, the Tour of Britain route is getting harder and the overall contenders are getting better. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the beginning of Van Baarle making a name for himself (and a pretty cool name at that).

One guy he beat was Bradley Wiggins. This guy’s not a bad cyclist, as he showed when winning the final day’s time trial. He didn’t win it by enough, however and finished third overall. Wiggins says this might be the last stage race he tries to win and while he says a lot of things, I can believe him on this one. He needs to get bigger and faster if he’s to win another Olympic gold medal on the track and those kilos will prevent him from competing on long climbs. Fortunately for those of us who enjoy seeing Wiggins on the road, this doesn’t rule out Paris-Roubaix and he should be there in 2015, looking to improve on this year’s ninth place.

Van Baarle also beat Michal Kwiatkowski. The Pole came sixth in the time trial, 16 seconds down on Wiggins, but this only recouped him nine seconds on Van Baarle, who came 11th. All the same, Kwiatkowski seems in good form and possessed of that extra bit of oomph you need to win one-day races, he’s one to watch in the World Championships road race which takes place a week on Sunday.

After the time trial, the Tour of Britain finished with a sprint stage. Sprint stage on UK roads equals a Marcel Kittel win. Mark Cavendish came second.