Dylan Van Baarle nicks the race lead in the Tour of Britain
I’m not going to write about stage seven winner Julien Vermote because he did that stupid heart-shaped hand gesture when he crossed the line and it irritates me. Plus there was quite a lot going on with the general classification.
Alex Dowsett started the day in the yellow jersey but couldn’t stay with the leaders on the climbs and lost over a minute. That put Michal Kwiatkowski in prime position, except for the fact that Dylan Van Baarle, who had spent the day in the break, wasn’t actually that far behind in the overall and I don’t think anyone had really noticed – not least because no-one really knows who he is.
Van Baarle knew, of course. You could tell because he went and claimed all three intermediate sprints, each of which earned him a few bonus seconds. He then finished third on the day, 23 seconds behind Vermote, but crucially almost a minute ahead of Kwiatkowski. He has a 19 second lead going into the final two stages.
Stages 8a and 8b
They always try and have bike races in London because they love the crowds and the spectacular stage finishes. The problem is it’s hard to make the rest of the day any good. The Tour of Britain has doubled up in an effort to bring some excitement. There’s an 8.8km time trial in the morning and then a short sprint stage in the afternoon and the former should see the overall race decided.