Tour of Britain: Dutch rider Olav Kooij sprints to victory on stage one

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Olav Kooij sprints to victory

Dutch rider Olav Kooij sprinted to victory on stage one of the Tour of Britain after being led out by his Jumbo-Visma team-mate Wout van Aert.

The Belgian finished second on the 161.6km route that began in Altrincham and finished in Manchester city centre.

Ireland’s Sam Bennett was third, with Britain’s Tom Pidcock, who hopes to challenge Van Aert for the overall title, finishing safely in 12th.

The eight-stage race concludes in Caerphilly on 10 September.

“I can’t ask much more than to get a one-two,” said Kooij.

“With Wout in front to get us first and second into the last corner I knew it was just then straight to the line, and luckily we got it.”

Ethan Vernon was the highest-placed British rider, finishing fifth.

Five riders, including Harry Tanfield and emerging British talent Jack Rootkin-Gray, had gone up the road early on a route that looped around the hills above Manchester.

However, they were given little leeway as the Ineos Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma teams controlled the tempo of the peloton.

And with the race back together, Van Aert acted as the perfect lead-out man as the sprinters assembled near the finish line on Deansgate.

“We know there is quite a lot of responsibility on us as a team to control things and get things together either for the sprints or the general classification,” added Kooij.

Stage one results

1. Olav Kooij (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) 3hrs 51mins 02secs

2. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) same time

3. Sam Bennett (Ire/Bora-Hansgrohe)

4. Max Kanter (Ger/Movistar)

5. Ethan Vernon (GB/Great Britain)

6. Stian Fredheim (Nor/Uno-X Pro)

7. Davide Bomboi (Bel/TdT-Unibet)

8. Danny van Poppel (Ned/Bora-Hansgrohe)

9. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa/Movistar)

10. Rory Townsend (Ire/Bolton Equities Black Spoke)

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