Welcome to episode 8 of our Tour of Britain diaries, the final chapter covering what has been a thrilling edition of the race.
In this episode, we have some brilliantly thoughtful concluding dispatches from our regular diarists Col Sturgess, Rory Townsend, and Bob Donaldson, plus an interview with Canyon dhb SunGod boss Tim Elverson, neatly bookending things after we published an in-depth interview with Tim on the eve of the race. Our other regular diarist Andy Turner was waylaid today so he send his virtual love across the airwaves to you all instead.
We want to extend our enormous gratitude to all of our regular and ad hoc diarists and contributors to this Tour of Britain diary series. We’ve had some phenomenal feedback from listeners about these episodes and without our diarists and contributors finding time in their busy days to provide us with such insightful dispatches these shows wouldn’t have been possible. So our thanks go out to each and every one of them.
Stage 8 from Stonehaven to Aberdeen took in 173 kilometres of relatively flat roads, bar the famous climb of Cairn o’Mount, placed early on in the stage.
Six riders formed the day’s breakaway, which went almost from the gun. These were TRINITY Racing duo Tom Gloag and Ben Healy, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling’s William Bjergfelt, stage 2 winner Robin Carpenter (Rally Cycling), Michal Paluta (Global 6 Cycling) and Jokin Murguialday from Caja Rural.
The break was allowed little freedom, with several teams eyeing either the stage win or the bonus seconds at the finish. Carpenter and Irish road race champion Healy survived the longest, before being caught in the outskirts of Aberdeen setting up the expected sprint finish.
Alaphilippe led things out for Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) before André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) hit the front, only for Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma) to sweep past them both to take the stage and overall victory, thanks to the ten bonus seconds he got on the line.
Overnight race leader Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) finished outside the top ten, missing out on time bonuses and dropping to second overall. As well as the WorldTour pair of Cavendish in third and Gabz Gullaigh (Movistar) in 10th, the top ten featured four domestic team riders. Rory was 6th, his third top ten of the race. Matt Gibson (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) backed up his 3rd place yesterday to finish 7th today, Ollie Peckover (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) grabbed his first-ever UCI top ten with 8th and Rory’s teammate Matt Bostock was 9th.
Jacob Scott (Canyon dhb SunGod) completed a remarkable week winning both the ŠKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprints classification, the jerseys for which he had held since stage 1. He was rewarded for his efforts by being presented with the Overall Combativity Award for the race.
James Shaw (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) was the best domestic team rider on GC in 14th. Alex Peters (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling), 21st, and Max Stedman (Canyon dhb SunGod), 25th, were the other two domestic riders in the top 25.
Show sponsored by Continental Tyres.
Featured photo: SWpix.com – 12/09/2021 – Cycling – AJ Bell Tour of Britain Stage 8 – Stonehaven to Aberdeen, Scotland – Jumbo Visma’s Wout van Aert takes victory at the Tour of Britain after winning stage 8.