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OVO Tour of Britain - Final
 
By Mark Sharon
Date: 9/10/2017
OVO Tour of Britain - Final
 
Untitled Document

September 8, 2017

Stage 8 (Final) Worcester to Cardiff 180.2 km

Boasson Hagen takes stage win at last gasp in Cardiff, Boom seals the overall at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain

Compiled using materail supplied by the OVO Tour of Britain

Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo) has won the 2017 OVO Energy Tour of Britain with a margin of eight seconds over Edvald Boassen Hagen (Dimension Data). Stefan Kung rounded out the podium for BMC Racing.

"It's a great feeling,” said Boom, reflecting on his second overall win in the race following his 2011 success.  "I didn't expect today to be that hard but with the intermediate Sprints and then some really tough climbs in the beginning it was really hard.
 
"The first hour was quite critical, we lost two guys from the team in the second peloton, but luckily some other guys came back so we were still quite strong.  If we had to do something we could do something but the first hour was almost killing me!”

The final stage was won by Boassen Hagen who had endured two second places and a relegation during the race.

GC Podium OVO Tour of Britain 2017

GC Podium Boassen Hagen, Boom, Kung © OVO/Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

After a dry start in Worcester, riders almost immediately faced the rain as the peloton approached the foot of the Malvern Hills.  An initial group of seven riders had struck out, but amid the throngs of spectators the field fell apart into four groups, with 14-riders at the front for the fast descent into Ledbury including general classification contenders Michal Kwiatkowski, Vasil Kiryienka, Stefan Küng, Boasson Hagen and Boom.
 
Boasson Hagen took the time bonuses at the first Eisberg Sprint in Ledbury, ahead of Kwiatkowski and Küng, moving them all one step closer to Boom's OVO Energy Green Jersey. 
 
With the pace slackening there was a regrouping at the front, with the lead pack swelling to 53-riders, including home favourites Geraint Thomas and Owain Doull who had missed the initial selection.  At that point Team Sky began to drive the front group clear, and with the presence of entire line-ups from Sky, Quick-Step and Katusha Alpecin, plus Boom and teammates Victor Campenaerts, Primoz Roglic and Jos Van Emden there was no way back for the second half of the race, chief losers among them being twelfth placed Alex Dowsett and the SKODA King of the Mountains leader Jacob Scott.
 
At the Eisberg Sprint in Usk it was Boasson Hagen again picking up three bonus seconds, but Boom was alert snaffling second placed and two seconds, while Kwiatkowski again picked up a time bonus.
 
With the wind and rain becoming heavier, the 17% gradient of Belmont Hill on the outskirts of Newport was the next battleground, with Quick-Step using each climb as a chance to up the pressure and increase the temp, over the top Zdenek Stybar took the points ahead of Lukasz Owsian, who sealed the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey as result.

On the slick descent Movistar's Gorka Izagirre went clear, being joined on the roads of Newport by Mark Stewart with the pair dodging the puddles to build a 30-second lead on the run to Cardiff.  The pair held off the charging 51-rider group, led by Sky for the first tour and a half of the city centre, but with the final intermediate Eisberg Sprint approaching Boom, Boasson Hagen, Kwiatkowski and Küng went away in the sprint, with the Sky man taking the time bonuses, ahead of the attentive race leader.

Boassen Hagen Stage 8 winner OVO Tour of Britain 2017

Boassen Hagen, stage winner© OVO/Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

With the four reeled in on the final circuit and the group watching each other, Boasson Hagen struck out inside the final three kilometres, holding off the remains of the field through the wet streets of Cardiff to just survive, as Maximiliano Richeze and Alexander Kristoff led the peloton along King Edward VIII Avenue in the sprint to ultimately fall short.
 
"It was really nice after all the work the guys in the team have done here this week. We had a plan for the day, which was if it came back to a bunch sprint I would attack in the last three kilometres, and I stayed with the plan and nobody managed to catch me, which was really great,” said Boasson Hagen speaking after his win.  "If you don't try, you don't win anything!”
 
"It was a hard start in the beginning, Team Sky were riding hard on the front so the opened up a gap.  I expected there to be a small group and someone to control it, but there was a big group and nobody came up from behind so it turned out well for me.”


Stage 8 and Final GC Results

Stage List

Stage 1

Sunday 3 September

Edinburgh to Kelso

188km

Stage 2

Monday 4 September

Kielder Water & Forest Park to Blyth

211km

Stage 3

Tuesday 5 September

Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe

172km

Stage 4

Wednesday 6 September

Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent

175km

Stage 5

Thursday 7 September

The Tendring Stage Individual Time Trial

16km

Stage 6

Friday 8 September

Newmarket to Aldeburgh

183km

Stage 7

Saturday 9 September

Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham

186km

Stage 8

Sunday 10 September

Worcester to Cardiff

180km

More to follow




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