Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and the rest of the peloton were in for a hard and wet day in the saddle on stage 7 of Tour of Britain. Edvald Boasson Hagen put in a powerful attack on the final climb but he got caught on the last kilometer.
Already early on the 185 km long stage from Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham, a group of six riders managed to get away. The peloton let the group get a gap of four minutes but never much more than that. Accompanied by the pouring rain, the riders started taking on the categorized ascents and the gap began to come down.
With just under 40 km to go, the peloton caught the morning breakaway. Several riders then tried to get away but only Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) succeeded. The teams of the GC riders and the sprinters were not interested in the giving the former time trial world champion a big gap and they kept him on a tight leash.
On the final climb of the day, Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) attacked. Boasson Hagen was quick to follow the move and suddenly a strong trio had a gap of 10 seconds on the peloton. Sitting just 19 seconds back in the general classification, the 30-year-old Norwegian was eager to get as much time as possible. However, the sprinter teams managed to organized themselves in the chase group and with just one kilometer left to go, Boasson Hagen was caught again.
At the end, Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) sprinted to victory, while his teammate Lars Boom kept the leader’s jersey. Boasson Hagen crossed the line in 28th place and he’s now 20 seconds behind Boom before Sunday’s final stage of the race.
Edvald Boasson Hagen:
“The team was really good once again. We executed our plan well and I was able to go clear with a few other riders on the last climb. We gave it our best shot but the roads were quite slippery and there was still a large enough group to chase us down from behind. It didn’t work at the end but it was not for the lack of trying. We have one last chance tomorrow to get a win so hopefully we can end the week on a high. Especially after the good work the team has done here”.