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Tour of Britain stage 2: Cees Bol overhauls Jake Stewart with perfect bike throw

Bunch sprint decides stage into Duns, Corbin Strong holds race lead.

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Cees Bol (Team DSM) nabbed victory on stage two of the Tour of Britain on Monday, lunging past Jake Stewart (Great Britain) with a perfectly timed lunge. The Dutchman clocked up what is his first win of the season in Duns, with Stewart a frustrated second and race leader Corbin Strong Israel-Premier Tech) third.

The latter landed a time bonus for third and extended his lead in the overall classification. Stewart jumps up nine places to second overall, eight seconds back. He is level on time with Omar Fraile (Ineos Grenadiers), while Anders Halland Johannessen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) is at ten seconds.

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) was seventh on the stage and remains fifth overall, 14 seconds behind.

“The team did a super good job to bring me over the hills and get me into a good position for the sprint after bringing the attackers back,” Bol said after the stage. “Then in the last 300 meters I was fighting for a good wheel and then just want all out to the line, throwing the bike. It’s great to take the win.”

He said that things were far from straightforward before the sprint, with the weather helping him towards the end.

“I had to fight really hard for it on the tailwind section; I was really on the limit there. We knew we turned into a headwind so that was my focus and I kept believing in it, and then in the headwind it was easier on the climbs.

“There are a few more possible sprints but also some climbing days that suit the other guys here on the team. We’re all super motivated for the next stages.”

 

How it played out

Stage two of the Tour of Britain brought the riders in a northern direction from Hawick to Duns, with the 175.2km route totaling 2,457 meters of elevation. It contained three intermediate sprints and, in the final 30 kilometers, the category three climbs of Wanside Rigg (km 151.2), Mainslaughter Law (km 158.4) and Hardens hill (km 169.2).

Six riders went clear right after the drop of the flag, namely brothers Harry and Charlie Tanfield (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), sprints classification leader Matthew Teggart (WiV SunGod), Adam Lewis (Saint Piran), Ukko Iisakki Peltonen (Global 6 Cycling) and Travis Stedman (Team Qhubeka).

The latter was best-paced overall in 69th, 1:02 back and quickly became race leader on the road. The gap increased to more than four minutes after 80 kilometers, but the bunch was keeping tabs on things and the pendulum swung in the second half of the stage.

Teggart had won the three intermediate sprints on the opening day and was on the same mission on stage two, beating Stedman at the sprints at Morebattle (km 42.6), Coldstream (km 76.2) and Reston (km 117.8) and reinforcing his grip on the white jersey.

The peloton ramped up the pace, driven on by teams such as Trinity Racing and Israel Premier Tech, and with 40km to go the leaders had retained just 1:02 of their previous advantage. The break padded its lead over the next ten kilometers, inching it upwards by ten seconds, but the foothills prior to the Wanside Rigg climb caused the move to splinter while sparking off a harder pace behind.

Teggart and Lewis pushed ahead on the those slopes but the bunch was drawing ever-closer. The leaders were a handful of seconds ahead going towards the prime line, close enough for King of the Mountains leader Stephen Bassett (Human Powered Health) to spring across the gap. He drove for the summit but Teggart had enough left to whip past him for the top points.

They were absorbed after the prime line, with Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers) pushing the tempo. Jacob Scott (WiV SunGod) led the bunch over Mainslaughter Law and then Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF Faizanè) surged clear with 16km remaining. The 2022 Giro d’Italia stage 8 runner-up carried a lead of 28 seconds into the final 9km, only to be dragged back by a Porte-led main bunch just before the summit.

Dylan Teuns (Israel-Premier Tech) then kicked clear with 5km to go. He was reeled in with just over 2km remaining, with Team DSM and then Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise stretching things out from there. Great Britain opened up the sprint for Jake Stewart and the 22 year old looked to have it won, only for Bol to lunge past right at the line.