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Mezgec fights to fourth on the final stage of the OVO Tour of Britain

Sun 10 Sep 2017

 

Slovenian champion Luka Mezgec sprinted to fourth place on today’s brutal final stage of the eight-day OVO Tour of Britain.

After just 20kilometres of racing, the peloton shattered into groups with a front bunch of around 45riders establishing and creating a sizeable lead over the rest of the field. Mezgec and Luke Durbridge were present for ORICA-SCOTT in the front and the race situation remained that way until the finish. 

Battling through the cold rainy conditions, the 29-year-old Slovenian fought his way to fourth place on the stage, as Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) took a flyer in the final two kilometres and held on for the stage win.

“The race went full gas over the first climb after 20kilometres and after this Team Sky started riding hard because Caleb Ewan was not there,” said Mezgec. “The day itself was hard and with rain and cold temperatures it just made it even harder.”

“In the final I had a plan to go behind the Quickstep-Floors lead-out train but I got swamped in the last two corners. I started sprinting from too far back so had to settle for fourth place.

“In general, the legs were really good all week and I am really happy that we achieved so many wins with Caleb. I think our team work in the lead-outs was really great, we really stepped it up at this race.

“You could feel we had trust in each other and our confidence was building up, stage after stage.”

How it happened:

The final stage of the 2017 British tour began in Worcester and weaved down to Cardiff after 180kilometres of racing. 

Unlike previous stages were a breakaway formed in the opening stages, it was after the first climb of the stage that the peloton split due to the pace rather than riders attacking and breaking free.

Some key riders missed the split and so teams worked to increase the distance as the weather continue to deteriorate rapidly with cold and rainy conditions.

Attacks came in the final but the main move was from Bassoon Hagen with 2.5kilometres to go, and he successfully held on for the stage victory.

Mezgec managed to stay in good position towards the front of the bunch and sprinted into fourth place on the stage.

The day wraps up a successful week for the team in Britain with Ewan claiming three impressive stage victories, a second place and two days in the overall race leaders jersey.

OVO Tour of Britain stage 8 results:

1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) 4:19
2. Maximiliano Richeze (Quickstep-Floors) ST
3. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) ST
4. Luka Mezgec (ORICA-SCOTT) ST

Final general classification:

1. Lars Boom (Lotto-JumboNL) 30:56
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) +0.08
3. Stefan Kung (BMC) +0:10

Photo courtesy of TDWsport

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