Tour of Britain: Cees Bol takes stage two sprint victory in dramatic photo finish

Tour of Britain: Cees Bol takes stage two sprint victory in dramatic photo finish

Cees Bol snatched victory on stage two of the Tour of Britain by the tightest of margins, beating Britain’s Jake Stewart in a photo finish in the Scottish borders.

The Dutchman came out on top after a chaotic sprint to the line in Duns, beating Stewart of Groupama–FDJ into second place. Corbin Strong (Israel–Premier Tech) finished third in the leader’s jersey to extend his lead at the top of the overall standings.

Bol’s Team DSM colleagues had reeled in an attack by Bora-Hansgrohe’s Nils Politt on the road from Hawick, and massed at the front of the pack in a bid to control the finish. Stewart made the first move and crossed the line in an apparent dead heat with the Dutchman, who was ultimately awarded the stage win.

“It was obviously a nice day for me,” Bol said after his victory in the Scottish Borders. “But it was a pretty hard day. It was not an easy stage … I was on the limit of dropping and giving up. I kept fighting, and then over the top of the last climb my team-mates found me and put me in the best position.”

New Zealand’s Strong leads Stewart and Omar Fraile (Ineos Grenadiers) by eight seconds in the general classification, and also leads the sprint standings. “I’m confident as I am sprinting well at the moment,” he said after Monday’s stage. “I was there or thereabouts but there was some fast guys still there at the finish, so third was the best I could do today. I’m really happy again.”

Stewart was in reflective mood after his best stage finish on his home Tour to date. “Obviously it is disappointing to come away with second, but the lads did a really good job and we will take it from here,” the 22-year-old told the Tour of Britain’s website. “There are still plenty more opportunities to come.”

After Monday’s stage passed along the border, the race crosses into England for the first time on Tuesday. Riders will tackle three categorised climbs on the road from Durham to Sunderland, passing through the North Pennines.