Jacob Scott continued his domination of the Skoda King of the Mountains (KOM) and Eisberg Sprints classifications throughout the second half of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain and won the respective green and red jerseys on behalf of the Canyon dhb SunGod team. This was a magnificent achievement by Jacob who spent hundreds of kilometres working hard in the breakaway groups on Stages 1, 2, 4 and 5. Jacob secured the Skoda KOM jersey on Stage 6 where Rory Townsend swept up the maximum KOM points on offer and denied any other rider closing the gap on Jacob. Jacob also took an unassailable lead in the Eisberg Sprints on Stage 7 where the points on offer went to riders who were not in contention in this classification.
- The final Team Presentation before the start of Stage 8 in Stonehaven
Tour of Britain 2021 Stage 8 Team presentation SWPix
STAGE 5: This stage wound its way around the Cheshire countryside from Alderley Park to Warrington. The 152km route was the shortest and contained the least amount of climbing of any road stage on the AJ Bell Tour of Britain and therefore was very likely to finish in a mass bunch sprint. The Canyon dhb SunGod team nominated sprinter Matt Bostock as the main rider they would be working for on the day which entailed shielding him from the wind throughout the stage and moving him up towards the head of the peloton in the last few kilometres before the finishing line.
Jacob Scott set off immediately the start flag dropped in his quest for further Skoda KOM and Eisberg Sprint points. Jacob had a grand day out in the breakaway picking up maximum points in both classifications which left him with more than twice as many points as any other rider in both competitions. With a mass bunch sprint being a nailed-on certainty, the sprinters teams brought back the breakaway as they gathered their forces for the final frantic dash. However, it was not to be for Bostock or any other Canyon dhb SunGod rider. As INEOS Grenadiers led through the last corner their second in line rider Owain Doull slipped off on the greasy surface which had a domino effect on the following riders and sadly Rory Townsend, who looked like he was on for another Top 10 placing, hit the deck. The obstruction denied Wout van Aert of a chance to sprint leaving Ethan Hayter to take the win and the all important 10 bonus seconds which put him into the overall leader’s red, white and blue jersey.
2. Rory Townsend completes Stage 5 having been brought down in the finale
STAGE 6: This was another monster stage than spanned 198km from Carlisle across the North Pennines to Gateshead. As well as three major Skoda KOM climbs, there were some smaller climbs in the last 15km that could be a launchpad for the stronger climbers before the final rise up to the Angel of the North statue which will be familiar to anyone who has driven up the A1(M) to Newcastle. For once Jacob Scott did not join the breakaway leaving Rory Townsend to join a strong breakaway with 6 other riders and consume as many points as possible in the Skoda KOM and Eisberg Sprint classifications to defend Jacob’s lead. This Rory did in style taking maximum points in both classifications leaving Jacob as a certain winner of the Skoda KOM green jersey as long as he completed the final stage into Aberdeen.
3. Rory Townsend cleans up on the Skoda KOM climbs on Stage 6
Unfortunately for Rory, the breakaway was caught on the closing smaller climbs leaving Max Stedman to take his chance against the best climbers and finishing just 10 seconds down in 15th place. Wout van Aert narrowly took victory from Ethan Hayter closing the overall gap between them to just 4 seconds.
4. Max Stedman sprints to 15th place on Stage 6
Tour of Britain 2021 Stage 6 North Pennines
STAGE 7: The race crossed over the border into Scotland for another long stage of 195km starting in Hawick and finishing around the bottom of the picturesque Arthur’s Seat mount which dominates the Edinburgh skyline. Although Matt Bostock and Ryan Christensen briefly joined a 10-rider breakaway, they were distanced on an early short but sharp climb, meaning we were denied the daily excitement of a Canyon dhb SunGod rider on our TV screens throughout the day. However, there was a silver-lining for Jacob Scott as the breakaway gobbled up the remaining points in the Eisberg Sprints classification meaning he would also be awarded the final red jersey as long as he made it into Aberdeen on Stage 8.
Five riders from the breakaway maintained their lead which had grown up to 9 minutes at one point but diminished to less than 2 by the end. Matt Gibson of the British Weldtite team had a fantastic ride in the breakaway and as a noted sprinter, managed to take 3rd place on the line. Showing signs of recovery from his heavy fall on Stage 2, first Canyon dhb SunGod rider home was Thomas Mein in 11th place. Ryan Christensen had his best finish of the week coming home in 17th.
5. Thomas Mein and Ryan Christensen on Stage 7
STAGE 8: The final 173km stage started in Stonehaven on the North Sea coast and headed westwards before looping back eastwards and finishing a little further north in Aberdeen. All the major climbs were located in the first 125km and with a 10km descent back into Aberdeen, a bunch sprint finish was a nailed-on certainty. With the Skoda KOM and Eisberg Sprints jerseys already ‘in the bag’, there was no need for the team riders to join a breakaway hunting further points in these classifications.
6. Jacob Scott relaxed at the Stage 8 start having already secured the Green and Red jerseys
Tour of Britain 2021 Stage 8 Jacob Scott Start Line SWPix
For most of the race the Canyon dhb SunGod team positioned themselves about two-thirds of the way down the peloton, conserving their energy for the undoubted explosive finale to the race. With 20km remaining Max Stedman and then Jacob Scott played their role in helping move the whole team up the peloton. The team sustained this momentum to get sprinters Rory Townsend and Matt Bostock into the best possible places as they approached the final sprint. Both Rory and Matt ‘surfed the wheels’ of riders from other teams to optimise their positions with Rory briefly holding the wheel of eventual stage and overall winner, Wout van Aert, to finish in 6th and 9th places respectively. Thomas Mein and Ryan Christensen finished in close order in 18th and 19th places.
7. Wout van Aert takes the stage and overall win on Stage 8 of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain
Tour of Britain 2021 Stage 8 Rory Townsend Finishing 6th and Matt Bostock Finishing 9th SWPix
Summary: Before the race commenced, team owner and manager Tim Elverson described a successful tour as winning a jersey and gaining a Top 10 place on a stage. Well, the Canyon dhb SunGod team more than doubled Tim’s expectations with Jacob Scott winning two of the four jersey classifications on offer and also being given the race ‘Combativity Award’. In addition the riders gained four Top 10 places (three by Rory Townsend) as well as two 11th places. Max Stedman was the highest ranked rider overall finishing 25th on General Classification (based on the lowest total time over the 8 stages). The team finished in 11th place and best Continental team based on the combined times of the team’s best three finishers on each stage.
All-in-all, a great AJ Bell Tour of Britain for the team and the best performance from any of Tim Elverson’s squads in the four years they have been invited to take part in the race. Sincere thanks are offered to the race organisers and the many volunteers who helped make it happen, as well as the many partner organisations who enabled the team to take to the road!
8. Jacob Scott celebrates winning the Skoda KoM category
Picture by STour of Britain 2021 Stage 8 Jacob Scott wins Skoda KoM Category SWPixWpix.com – 12/09/2021 – Cycling – AJ Bell Tour of Britain Stage 8 – Stonehaven to Aberdeen, Scotland – Canyon dhb SunGod’s Jacob Scott wins the Skoda King of the Mountain jersey.
Partners: The Canyon dhb SunGod team are supported by a whole range of partners without whom the team would never be able to operate. Cignpost diagnostics have been instrumental in keeping the team on the road with their ExpressTest Covid testing services enabling the team to travel to races in France, Sloevenia, Belgium and the Netherlands in preparation for the biggest target of the year, the AJ Bell Tour of Britain as well as providing the pre-race Covid testing for the Tour itself.
Find out more about the team’s partners here.
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Article by Paul and Marina Stedman.
2, 3, 4, : Team Photographer Hugh McManus.
1, 6, 7, 8: SWpix