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“Marcel and Bert had to let go of the bunch with around 30km to go, but Tom S and Albert were there to help Tom V who took seventh in the hectic sprint behind.”

Photo: A.S.O.

MARCEL KITTEL

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TEAM SUNWEB

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TOM STAMSNIJDER

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TOM VEELERS

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TOUR OF BRITAIN

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12.09.2014 @ 22:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Marcel Kittel won the opening stage of the Tour of Britain but since then the climbs have been too hard for him. Today he was again unable to be in the mix and instead Tom Veelers took over spriting duties.

 

With a break once again surviving to the finish on today’s sixth stage, Team Giant-Shimano were sprinting for the minor placings with Tom Veelers taking tenth on the line.

 

After a long fight to get into the day’s escape, it was eventually just three riders that pulled clear to spend the day out front. The peloton underestimated the difficulty of the chase on the rolling roads between Bath and Hemel Hempstead and the break managed to hold on to nearly two minutes advantage by the finish with Mathias Brandle (IAM Cycling) taking his second stage win in two days. Second place finisher Alex Dowsett (Movistar) assumes the overall lead of the race ahead of the final weekend.

 

The day’s breakaway finally pulled clear after nearly 40km of racing, and from a divided peloton with the race splitting into two parts under the hard early pace. Once the leaders had pulled clear the pace backed off completely behind and the two large groups came back together, rolling along at a steady pace as the gap grew and grew to reach a maximum of nearly ten minutes.

 

This sparked panic in the bunch behind and the pursuit started in earnest but the three leaders were putting up a strong fight. The fast pace proved too much for Marcel Kittel as he was tailed off with around 25km to go, but Tom Veelers was able to stick with the front pack and after being positioned at the end by Albert Timmer he could get in the mix at the finish.

 

Tomorrow presents another tough stage with two climbs to tackle in the final 20km of the stage, before Sunday’s final double header with an individual time trial in the morning before a good sprint opportunity for Kittel and the team in the afternoon.

 

Coach Marc Reef said of the stage: “Again another very hard day today. A large group pulled clear on the first climb of the day and wee had Albert and Tom Stamsnijder there which was good, but there was no cohesion and it was attacking all the time. Three went clear from this group and that was the group that survived to the finish.

 

“Marcel and Bert had to let go of the bunch with around 30km to go, but Tom S and Albert were there to help Tom V who took seventh in the hectic sprint behind.”

 

Tom Stamsnijder added: “My Tour of Britain is getting better day by day here and it’s the first race back after I was sick so I had a few hard days to start but am into the rhythm now. Albert and I were trying to get in the break today but it was harder this time than normal because we got away in a big group of 40 in an early climb.

 

“After this we were jumping for a long time to get into a new break but Quickstep wanted a group of four maximum, so they closed everything. In the end we missed it and thought that the break would have a hard time to stay in front with this kind of control but we were wrong. At the end just tried to get Tom into a good position at the end for the sprint.”

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