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Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) kicked hard to win stage 7 of the Tour of Britain on Saturday, beating breakaway rivals Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) and Matt Gibson (Ribble-Weldtite).
Lampaert had battled into the day’s break and profited from having teammate Davide Ballerini in the move in the cagey final ten kilometers. The race came down to three after a flurry of attacks, and the Belgian veteran hit the final straight with young pair Jorgenson and Gibson.
Lampaert, 30, duly outkicked them both to score his second win of the season after also winning the Belgian TT championships.
Jorgenson and Gibson had both thrown moves in an effort to dislodge Lampaert on the final stretch into Edinburgh.
Gibson was forced into leading his two WorldTour rivals into the sprint before Lampaert hit out early with a huge kick. The Belgian veteran stomped to a gap of a few bike lengths within meters, as Jorgenson followed his wheel. There was no catching Lampaert once the classics heavyweight had a gap, who crossed the line well ahead of the American, who placed second.
Behind the winning sprint, Ineos Grenadiers piled on the pressure in the peloton. Rohan Dennis lead out GC leader Ethan Hayter in the final 500 meters, and the Brit dashed across the line just ahead of main rival Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and the rest of the classification contenders.
There were no changes in the overall standings, setting up a tense final showdown between van Aert, Hayter and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) in the final stage Sunday. The trio is separated by just 21 seconds.
Jorgenson poses problems for Ineos Grenadiers
Young American rider Jorgenson (Movistar) had punched into the break of the day along with Gibson, Lampert, the Coloradan Chris Blevins (Trinity), Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma) and Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider Davide Ballerini.
Ineos Grenadiers was forced into doing much of the pulling in the peloton to protect their GC lead with Jorgenson starting the day five minutes down on GC and Jumbo-Visma and Quick-Step both having riders in the break. The British squad worked to pull the break back from eight minutes to around four minutes to neutralize Jorgenson’s GC threat before Alpecin-Fenix took control and kept the escapees pegged at three minutes.
Mountain bike ace Blevins dropped out of the break at around 25km to go before Jorgenson made the first of a flurry of attacks as he looked to break up the five-up group.
Lampaert attacked hard at 8km to go, and Jorgenson quickly jumped onto his wheel. Gibson kicked across soon afterward to set up the final cat-and-mouse game for the sprint.
Tour of Britain stage 7:
- Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step): 4:39:09
- Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar): S.T
- Matt Gibson (Ribble-Weldtite): S.T
Tour of Britain GC after stage 7
- Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers): 27:34:32
- Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): +0:04
- Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step): +0.21