Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) won the seventh stage of the Tour of Britain on Friday after beating Greg Henderson (Team Sky) in a two-up sprint.
Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) led the bunch home for third place on the day, three seconds later.
“For me this is a big victory because there are a lot of good riders here,” Bozic said. “It doesn’t matter where it is; every race is hard to win.”
Bozic and Porte both reduced their deficits to race leader Michael Albasini (HTC-Columbia) on the 152.3km stage between Bury St Edmunds and Colchester.
Albasini — who began the day with a lead of 1:26 on Bozic and 1:27 on Porte — saw that advantage reduced to 1:05 and 1:14, respectively, after he finished in a group that crossed 11 seconds down on the stage winner.
However, unless catastrophe strikes, Albasini should secure overall victory after Saturday’s circuit race around the streets of London.
“Normally in the last stage not so much happens and it should be a bunch sprint,” said Albasini. “I am happy to still have the yellow jersey. Three days ago I wasn’t so sure to bring it this far when we had just four riders in the race. It’s perfect now with three stage wins — and hopefully also the yellow at the end in London.”
The final stage of The Tour of Britain takes place in Newham, London’s Olympic and Paralympic Borough, with a 96km circuit race around the historic Royal Dockyards and London’s ExCeL Centre.
- 1. Borut Bozic (Slo), Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team, 3:24:15
- 2. Greg Henderson (Nzl), Team Sky, same time
- 3. Richie Porte (Aus), Team Saxo Bank, at 0:03
- 4. Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita), ISD-Neri, at 0:03
- 5. Koen De Kort (Ned), Skil-Shimano, at 0:03
- 1. Michael Albasini (Sui), HTC-Columbia, at 27:26:40
- 2. Borut Bozic (Slo), Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team, at 1:05
- 3. Richie Porte (Aus), Team Saxo Bank, at 1:14
- 4. Greg Henderson (Nzl), Team Sky, at 1:16
- 5. Johnny Hoogerland (Ned), Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team, at 1:32