‘It will be a matter of legs’ - Wout van Aert in confident mindset ahead of Tour of Britain finale

Belgian says attack was the best form of defence for Jumbo-Visma after race explodes in Gloucestershire

Wout van Aert in Gloucestershire
(Image credit: SWPix.com)

Wout van Aert believes the finale of the Tour of Britain will be 'a matter of legs' after an ‘explosive’ day of action on stage seven in Gloucestershire.

The Belgian launched a series of attacks in the Cotswolds as the race approached Gloucester in what appeared to be another huge statement of intent from Jumbo-Visma.

However, Van Aert later explained that the group were beginning to feel the efforts of the previous few stages which have seen them completely dominate the race.

Jumbo-Visma have won five of the seven stages so far through sprinter Olav Kooij and Van Aert. Kooij had won the first four before Van Aert stormed to victory in Felixstowe on stage five.

Van Aert told the media in Gloucester that he feels the final stage in Caerphilly - which will decide the race overall - will be a case of last man standing due to the longer climbs that await the peloton.

He said: “It was a really tough stage today. For the last 40 kilometres when we were still far from the breakaway we finally got some help from Movistar, although you heard it in the wheels already because they pulled quite fast.

“Going into that final steep KOM, the race really was on and I felt my teammates were a bit running out of gas, which is quite normal after seven days of pulling in the front and then I thought attacking might be the best defence.

"So, that's what I did but unfortunately I kind of isolated myself a few times with guys on my wheel who didn't really want to cooperate. So yeah, I made a bit of a mistake there.

“I think it will be less explosive tomorrow because the stage is even harder, or let's say way harder, it’s longer climbs during the day and then the climb on the circuit is like a proper wall I guess. I think it will be more a matter of legs in the final."

Going into the final day he still leads the race overall by three seconds.

“Today, I overestimated the course a bit," he added. "I thought it was quite tough in the final, but apparently there were still some fast guys who could hang on. So tomorrow I think we will see an even smaller group.”

Wout van Aert

(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.