Wout van Aert has prevailed in a dramatic sprint finish on the final stage of the Tour of Britain to snatch the overall victory from Ethan Hayter with his fourth win of the week.
The Belgian star had the power to come around both Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel on the seafront in Aberdeen in Sunday’s finale.
The bonus seconds gave van Aert the overall win by six seconds from the frustrated Ineos Grenadiers rider. The Jumbo-Visma rider raised an arm in celebration as he crossed the line before looking back to see where Hayter was.
Had the Londoner finished second he would have held the blue jersey, but instead van Aert was able to launch a second celebration when he realised his fourth stage win of the week had earned overall success too.
The peloton made hard work of chasing back a six-strong breakaway on the 173km stage from Stonehaven, but finally reeled them in with four kilometres left.
Hayter held a four-second lead overnight but, as Cavendish and Andre Greipel lit up the sprint battle early, he found himself out of position as Van Aert powered away.
“It’s a bit disappointing to lose it on the last day but I can be very happy with this week, the team time trial win and the stage in Manchester,” said the 22-year-old, an Olympic silver medallist on the track in Tokyo before winning his first major road stage race in Norway last month.
“To be second overall between van Aert and (world champion Julian) Alaphilippe is pretty good.”
— AJ Bell Tour of Britain 🇬🇧 (@TourofBritain) September 12, 2021