Mathieu van der Poel moved closer to being crowned the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain champion on Friday as he beat nearest challenger Matteo Trentin to win stage seven atop Burton Dassett, Warwickshire.

The Dutch rider got the better of Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) in a thrilling sprint up the short but steep climb to extend his overall advantage to 12 seconds with just Saturday’s Greater Manchester finale to come.

Victory atop Burton Dassett – tackled three times in the closing 28 kilometres of Friday’s stage – was van der Poel’s second of the week on British soil.

Beyond nearest rival Trentin, Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) sits 40 seconds in arrears, having slipped ahead of Team INEOS rider Pavel Sivakov thanks to time bonuses collected at an intermediate Eisberg sprint during the Warwickshire stage.

Trentin’s Mitchelton-SCOTT team-mate Cameron Meyer had been in the thick of the action in a stage which started off by covering almost 50 kilometres in the first hour of racing, but it was his breakaway companion Dylan van Baarle (Team INEOS) who had collected the majority of the SKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg sprint points in Warwickshire.

Nonetheless, Jacob Scott (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) keeps the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey and just needs to finish the final stage on Saturday to claim the jersey, which he previously went close to winning in the 2017 Tour.

Van Baarle’s breakaway did move him into second place in the Eisberg Sprints classification, just three points behind Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) with nine points available on the roads of Greater Manchester. Trentin retained the Cetaphil points jersey with an 11-point advantage before Manchester.

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