Tour of Britain - Stage 8 » Margam Country Park › Caerphilly, 166.8km
Carlos Rodriguez finished the Tour of Britain off in style with a classy solo stage win in Caerphilly.
The Spaniard hit out with 52 kilometres remaining as the Grenadiers looked to take on the race in a bid to win both the stage and the general classification.
Teaming up with Stevie Williams (Great Britain), Rodriguez was able to go clear and open out a useful advantage on the approach to two key climbs of Caerphilly Mountain. With counter-attacks behind, Magnus Sheffield was able to follow the moves and play a team role in disrupting the chase efforts behind.
In the end Rodriguez was able to cross the line 11 seconds ahead of race winner Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). Sheffield sprinted to fifth on the stage, elevating himself to fourth place overall in the close GC battle, just three seconds back on Van Aert. He also claimed the white Young Rider jersey in the process.
- Carlos Rodriguez
"We had to try to win the stage and the race. Today was the day that suited us the best so we needed to try to force Jumbo and the other teams to chase, to put us in a good position. That’s what I tried when I went with Stevie (Williams), to give us as big of a gap as possible into the finish. In the end I could get the victory, not the general classification overall, but we have to be happy. Magnus was also very strong and in a good position. I want to congratulate Wout (Van Aert) as he has been super strong overall in this race.
"I had no idea [if I could win]. I just had to try and believe in myself, give everything I had and try to do a time trial to the finish. The team has been amazing all this week protecting us. Magnus has also been super strong and he was in a good position – that was the plan."
Sunday also saw stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana play out, with the breakaway once again claiming victory.
In the early going the INEOS Grenadiers pushed very hard in a bid to make the move of the day. In the end it slipped clear without the team's involvement. Rui Costa (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty) claimed victory in Lekunberri.
Geraint Thomas went down briefly in a crash with 33km to go but was able to quickly remount and continue. Monday sees the race reach its second and final rest day ahead of the third week.