‘It was a crazy plan’ - Wout van Aert on his stunning solo Tour of Britain stage win

Belgian superstar says it’s now ‘up to the others’ to attack him as Jumbo-Visma rider takes over race lead

Wout van Aert celebrates his stage win in Felixstowe
(Image credit: SWPix.com)

Wout van Aert has said that his stunning late attack on stage five of the Tour of Britain in Felixstowe was something Jumbo-Visma cooked up on Wednesday evening, after his team-mate Olav Kooij had won yet another stage.

The Dutch rider took the victory in Newark-On-Trent on Wednesday to make it four wins from four for the 21-year-old.

After taking the honours in Felixstowe - which also saw him take over the race lead - Van Aert told the media, including Cycling Weekly, that his late attack was an attempt to catch out the rest of the sprinters who were expecting yet another bunch sprint in the seaside town.

Van Aert said: “It was not planned way before, it was actually a plan that came up yesterday evening. Part of it, of course, is Olav winning four stages already, so it's just nice to try something different if you can and especially as all the previous stages we saw that a lot of teams tried to get our wheel towards the final bends.

“It was a big relief. It was a bit of a crazy plan to try and surprise the bunch. But yeah, I felt the whole team was confident in it and wanted to give it a try. Already before the stage I was nervous about it... it's really cool that it worked, so yeah, a big, big relief and I'm proud of how we've raced as a team this week.”

In recent days, the Belgian explained that Jumbo-Visma had observed the rest of the sprinters' teams frantically attempting to get into Kooij’s slipstream before the Dutchman then launched his powerful sprint in the final kilometre.

Van Aert said that the team had decided that the twisting finale in Felixstowe lent itself to potential other opportunities to catch out the rest of the teams in the general classification picture.

The race wraps up in Caerphilly on Sunday, and the Belgian’s cunning late punch has now given him a three second advantage in the general classification ahead of his rivals. 

Wout van Aert wins stage five of the Tour of Britain in Felixstowe

(Image credit: SWPix.com)

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Tom joined Cycling Weekly in early 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

He has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the recent Glasgow World Championships. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world and interviewed some of the sport's top riders. 

When not writing news scoops from the WorldTour, or covering stories from elsewhere in the domestic professional scene, he reports on goings on at bike shops up and down the UK, where he is based when not out on the road at races. He has also appeared on the Radio Cycling podcast.