Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) took victory on stage eight of the Tour of Britain as Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo), held on for overall victory.
Boasson Hagen had attacked with just under 3km to go to try and take the overall victory from Boom, but while he was able to hold on to take the stage victory, Boom was able to remain in the group which finished on the same time as Boasson Hagen and claim victory and his second career overall victory at the Tour of Britain.
How it happened
A fast start saw the main bunch almost split in two, with a number of riders who would have had eyes on a sprint finish getting caught out including Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) and Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo).
The fast start also meant that no breakaway was able to form in the rain and wind en route to Cardiff.
The overall favourites were all present in the front group and that meant chasing bonus seconds on the three intermediate sprints to try and unseat race leader Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo).
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), who sat eighth overall at 20 seconds, took two maximum bonuses of three seconds, but he wasn’t able to stop Boom grabbing seconds on two of the sprints and holding onto his lead.
A breakaway was able to eventually get away courtesy of the fight for mountain points on Belmont Hill, with Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) and Mark Stewart (An Post-Chain Reaction) getting away with just ahead of 35km to go and getting a gap of around 12 seconds.
They were inevitably caught with around 7.8km to on the city circuits of Cardiff, and it looked as though it would all come down to a sprint as expected.
Things began to break up as Boom, Boasson Hagen, Stefan Küng (BMC) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) went for the final intermediate bonus seconds with one lap to go, with Kwiatkowski taking it ahead of Boom and Küng.
Boasson Hagen then looked to push on, but eventually it was all back together again.
The Norwegian wouldn’t be held back though, as he looked to take a third career overall classification victory at the Tour of Britain.
That meant gapping Boom by eight seconds and taking the maximum bonus seconds on the finish line, and Boasson Hagen duly attacked with just under 3km to go.
As Quick-Step rallied to try and bring him back to setup a sprint for Fernando Gaviria, Boasson Hagen was able to gain a decent gap of around 50 metres on the bunch and held it into the final 500 metres.
As the he swung onto the final straight with bunch getting closer, the gap came down quickly with Max Richeze (Quick-Step) attacking in lieu of his missing sprinter Gaviria, dragging the bunch and Boom right up to Boasson Hagen.
While that was enough to hand Boom the overall victory, it wasn’t enough to stop Boasson Hagen taking the stage win and finishing in second place overall by eight seconds to Boom.
Tour of Britain 2017, stage eight: Worcester to Cardiff (180.2km)
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data, in 4-19-00
2. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-Scott
5. Brenton Jones (Aus) JLT-Condor
6. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty Groupe-Gobert
7. Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing
8. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
9. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
10. Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky, all same time
Final overall classification
1. Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo, in 30-56-24
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data, at 8s
3. Stefan Küng (Sui) BMC Racing, at 10s
4. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 13s
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, at 18s
6. Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, st
7. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky, at 24s
8. Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin, at 25s
9. Owan Doull (GBr) Team Sky, at 33s
10. Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac, at 38s