Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s Nils Politt once again shows his great shape in the second half of the season in Tour of Britain. Some 50 km in to the stage seven, a six-man break group was formed by Politt and Ian Stannard (Team Sky). They took off on the rolling course on a rainy day. With 22 km to go, and a gap of 4:30 on the peloton, Stannard and Politt took off and left their companions behind. Stannard attacked the 24-old German with 16 of the 215.6km stage remaining, setting up and enthralling game of cat and mouse as they approached the line in Mansfield. With the Brit just ahead, the Politt’s deficit remained under 10 seconds for the following 10km, however Stannard took 47 seconds into the last kilometres in the pouring rain, riding in for the win.
Nils Politt: We were talking in the team briefing before the stage that today there won’t be a team controlling the race. My first goal was to join the breakaway and it worked. We had always a gap to the bunch between four and five minutes over a big distance. There was a lot of headwind but we really worked well together in the group. Of course it was hard but we went fullgas as much as possible. With 20km to go Ian Stannard attacked first. I could manage it to follow him. Also the second attack. But after the third one it was not possible for me. I was too empty. I still felt my back from the crash in the second stage but Ian was really strong. But I’m still happy with the second place.
Behind, Giovanni Carbone (Bardiamo CSF) rode alone to third place.
Sport director Claudio Cozzi: It was a hard day. Ian Stannard was the best rider in the group. And Nils did his best as possible. He’s a big fighter but after the third attack from Stannard it was too hard for him. Of course we wanted to win. But it’s still a great result for Nils and the team, especially after his crash in stage two.
Traditionally the last day of Tour of Britain will be a day for the sprinters: tomorrow’s 77km final stage in London will provide little opportunity for major changes at the top of the general classification.