Olav Kooij, a cyclist from the Netherlands, won the first stage of the Tour of Britain in a sprint finish after being led out by his teammate Wout van Aert of the Jumbo-Visma cycling team.
On the 161.6-kilometer course that started in Altrincham and ended in the middle of Manchester, the Belgian runner came in second place overall.
Sam Bennett of Ireland came in third place, and Tom Pidcock of Britain, who has aspirations of challenging Van Aert for the overall crown, crossed the line in a secure 12th place.
The last leg of the eight-stage event will take place in Caerphilly on September 10.
Kooij stated, “I can’t ask much more than to get a one-two,” and he admitted that this was his limit.
“With Wout in front to get us first and second into the last corner, I knew it was just then straight to the line,” the athlete said. “And luckily, we got it.”
Ethan Vernon was the best-placed rider from the United Kingdom, coming in fifth overall.
The beginning of the Tour of Britain drew in massive numbers.
On a course that looped around the hills above Manchester, five riders, including Harry Tanfield and an up-and-coming prodigy from the United Kingdom named Jack Rootkin-Gray, had gone up the road early.
On the other hand, they had very little room for maneuver because the teams of Ineos Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma dominated the pace of the race.
After the race was put back together, Van Aert served as the ideal lead-out man for the sprinters as they converged on Deansgate, which is where the finish line is located.
“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,” continued Kooij. “We are very aware of this responsibility.”
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)