Victory for Greipel in Tour of Britain!

André Greipel won the seventh stage in the Tour of Britain. He defeated Elia Viviani after a very close sprint. Three escapees went clear after a very fast first hour: Dowsett, Briggs and Cullaigh. Before halfway they got a maximum of nine minutes on the bunch, where Lotto Soudal controlled the race. The gap of the escapees went down and at ten kilometers from the finish they were caught. Sky, IAM and Lotto Soudal were the dominant teams during the preparation of the sprint, but André Greipel was the fastest of the whole bunch, his sixteenth victory of the season, the thirty-fifth for Lotto Soudal.

André Greipel: “It was a close victory, but the photo finish was clear I think. We took control of the race from the beginning, no other team wanted to help us. When the gap was nine minutes, one rider of IAM also started to pull. Frederik Frison and Sean De Bie kept the peace high so nobody could attack. Pim, Sibi, Jens and I did the preparation and the sprint. I think we deserved the victory, Sky won already three stages. The first stages we wanted to help Jens to a victory, but we had some bad luck. Because the teams started with six riders and some lost already two or three, it’s difficult to control, also because everybody is tired after a hard week. Tomorrow we try again, but not without help from other teams. They predict rain, we’ll see if Jens or I will sprint.

In the Vuelta the ultimate mountain stage has shaken the ranking. On the third of four climbs of first category, Fabio Aru attacked. Tom Dumoulin couldn’t follow, also saw his other opponents pulling away, and almost lost four minutes. He’s sixth in the general classification now. The stage was won by Ruben Plaza, who attacked at the second climb of the day from a big lead group of 38 riders, among others Adam Hansen, Jelle Vanendert and Jasper De Buyst. After an impressive solo of 115 kilometers, Ruben Plaza arrived alone in Cercedilla. Bart De Clercq couldn’t follow the favorites when the stage exploded, but tried to keep a steady tempo. He’s still fourteenth in the general classification.