'It was my legs that let me down': Stevie Williams ‘proud’ of Tour of Britain final day performance

Welshman takes heart from impressive showing in South Wales, as he looked like he might win the stage and overall

Stevie Williams
(Image credit: Zac Williams/SWPix.com)

Welshman Stevie Williams said that he was still ‘proud’ of his ride in the mountains of South Wales on stage eight of the Tour of Britain on Sunday, despite missing out on a stage victory in Caerphilly and a potential overall win.

The rider from Aberystwyth launched an attack with eventual stage winner Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) on the slopes of the Bryn Du climb. The duo pushed on as they looked to put Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and their other rivals under serious pressure in the fight for the overall title.

Eventually, however, it wasn’t to be for Williams as he faded once Rodriguez upped the pace on the steep slopes of Caerphilly mountain. The Spaniard took the stage win and Van Aert secured the overall honours, while Williams finished 22nd.

Nevertheless, he told Cycling Weekly at the finish that he could take heart from his performance even though the potential rewards on offer had eluded him.

“It was a tough day,” said Williams who was awarded the day’s combativity prize for the most aggressive rider. “Obviously it went flat out up Bryn Du as everyone I think knew that it would.

"I made a decision and then I tossed a coin on whether to be aggressive and go with Carlos [Rodríguez] and that's what I did.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Perhaps I should have stayed in the bigger group and conserved my energy for the finishing circuit but that's how it goes,” he added.

“I'm proud of my ride and I think it's better on a circuit like that to be on the front foot and as we then saw, Carlos stayed away.

“So in the end, it was my legs that let me down but that's how it goes.”

Buoyed by his recent overall win at the Arctic Race of Norway and bronze medal in the road race at the British national championships, William’s oozed confidence as he initially stuck to Rodríguez's wheel like glue once they’d got up the road.

The duo initially appeared to falter, but then worked tirelessly together in an attempt to stretch out their advantage, which was at one point well over a minute to the chasing group. 

Stevie Williams

(Image credit: Zac Williams/SWPix.com)

The Welshman has endured an up and down few years which have been largely blighted by a troublesome injury. Williams rides on the road for Israel-Premier Tech but raced for Great Britain at his home stage race, with his trade team absent.

Williams was matter of fact and honest in his assessment of his performance on the final day of action and explained that added together with the victory in Norway, it had given him a much needed morale boost.

“My ride was still good though,” he said. “It gave me a lot of confidence in myself and I'm happy with how it went. I just obviously, you know, am still disappointed. I didn't really come to get dropped in the final circuit but yeah, that’s how it goes.”

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.