Wout van Aert won a thrilling sprint into Aberdeen to secure overall victory in the Tour of Britain.
The Belgian’s eggs were in one basket, as he needed to win the stage and hope Ethan Hayter, who led going into the final stage, did not finish second.
A long breakaway threatened to spoil the party, but it was pulled back inside the final five kilometres.
Tour of Britain
Van Aert wins Stage 6, cuts Hayter's Tour of Britain lead
10/09/2021 AT 15:09
Van Aert positioned himself on Mark Cavendish’s wheel for much of the final 5km, knowing the Manxman could take him towards the line.
It played out almost to perfection, as Van Aert briefly lost Cavendish’s wheel inside the final 500 metres.
However, he did not panic and as the sprint opened up, he waited for a gap to appear.
Van Aert sailed past Cavendish and in the final 70 metres he caught and overhauled Andre Greipel.
The Jumbo-Visma man had time to raise his arms in delight as he crossed the line, such was his speed, and the celebration was complete with Hayter finishing outside the top 10 as his legs gave way in the closing metres of the stage.
“The team worked really hard to make it a bunch sprint and it was then up to me to finish it off,” Van Aert said. “I am really happy that it worked out.
“It was super fast, the last two kilometres were tailwind. For the final I was in the wheel of Cav as I felt that was the good one to be on.
I got a bit surprised by the early lunge from Greipel so I really had to sprint to pass him.
“I saw Hayter was not in the finish so it was like we hoped to take both today.“
The margin of victory over Hayter was narrow, six seconds, but Van Aert was the dominant rider in the race - with his victory in Aberdeen his fourth stage success.
Tour of Britain
Hayter takes advantage of crash to win stage five and regain lead of Tour of Britain
09/09/2021 AT 15:13
Tour of Britain
Van Aert wins Stage 4, takes overall lead of Tour of Britain
08/09/2021 AT 15:43