Dylan Groenewegen made it three wins in five days at the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain as he sprinted to win the race’s first-ever Wirral stage in Birkenhead Park on Wednesday.
The Team Jumbo – Visma rider added the stage five victory to Saturday’s success in Kirkcudbright and his triumph on Newcastle’s Grey Street on Monday in dominant style.
Great Britain’s Matt Walls notably placed second, with Matteo Trentin’s third-place finish and subsequent time bonus putting the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider back into the OVO Energy green jersey of race leader leading into Thursday’s time trial in Pershore.
“I like this race, it’s a perfect race. I like to race here. It’s another hat-trick [in a race] for me so I’m really proud of that but I’m really motivated to get another win,” said Dylan Groenewegen.
“There was a small climb at the end of today’s stage – it was not a hard climb but the team did a very good job there. We stayed in a good position with one kilometre to go and then we went full gas. The lead-out was perfect. I’m very happy that I was able to take the win. The team worked very hard today and I’m really proud of them.”
Trentin now leads by three seconds from Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon Circus), with a handful of riders also within striking distance ahead of the time trial. One rider who will no longer be a threat to the overall was former winner Steve Cummings (Team Dimension Data), who crashed out of the top 20 and the race on his home roads on the Wirral.
“It was finally a kind of easy day even if it’s not as easy as it looks on television,” said Trentin, “But I think it just gives the guys a little bit of a relax today and try to focus on your sprint and it came out pretty good, I knew that I had to come from the back, to be honest I was a little bit too much but Groenewegen here just demonstrated once again that he’s one step above all the rest and I thought I had a good race and take bonus seconds to be back in the general classification lead.”
The Italian also leads the Cetaphil Points jersey classification by nine points from Davide Cimolai (Israel Cycling Academy).
Thanks to his presence in the day’s breakaway Jacob Scott (Swift Carbon Pro Cycling) moved to a 21 point lead over Dries de Bondt (Corendon Circus) in the SKODA King of the Mountains and also won the public vote for the Wahooligan Combativity award.
Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) kept the Eisberg Sprints jersey, despite a fall in the closing stages, with a four point lead over his nearest rival.