The best of the rider quotes following stage seven of the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, the race’s hill-top finish at Burton Dassett Country Park in Warwickshire.

Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon – Circus) moved closer to being crowned the race’s champion after he beat nearest challenger Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) in a thrilling uphill battle.

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon – Circus)

Stage winner and OVO Energy green jersey

“I knew that a finish like this would suit me very well. Coming to the finish line I knew I had a pretty good chance to take the win again today. I saw there was still somebody on my wheel but I didn’t really know who it was. I guessed it was [Matteo] Trentin. I had time to recover and get some breath again to focus on the final 200-metre sprint. After the final corner I started sprinting as hard as I could and I made it to the finish line. I’m feeling pretty good – I’m feeling better day by day.

“I surprised myself in the time trial [in Pershore on Thursday] because that’s something I haven’t done for a long time – I think it was an indication of the shape I’m in. If you can ride that fast for 14km on your own that’s a good indication [of form] for me.”

On Friday’s stage through Warwickshire: “The first 70 to 80 kilometres were pretty hard actually. There were a lot of attacks and my team handled them perfectly – they did an amazing job. The second to last time we went up the climb I knew it was up to me to be at the front and follow the groups of favourites. I was alone in the big group, so I had to gamble a little bit again.

On the race’s GC battle: “It’s going to be a hard day again tomorrow [in Greater Manchester] and it won’t be over until I cross the finish line. I’m confident we’re going to make it.”

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT)

“It was a good day out, a really fast race. I was with Mathieu until the last corner and then he just kicked off again and I had no response. But I have to say, compared to the last finish line he won [Kendal on stage four], I stepped up a little bit. I was at least on his wheel!.

“It was a little bit of a pity but he deserved the win. His team rode the whole day. There’s still tomorrow to try to do something.”

On racing again Mathieu van der Poel: “If you race with the best and you want to compete with them you need to raise your level, especially on this kind of finish. At the moment he is the best in the world – I don’t see anyone who can get close to him.”

Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-SCOTT)

Breakaway rider, 48th

On his chances of staying away: “Look it was a good combination; Dylan van Baarle is super strong so we were a good combination out there. The team’s tactic was to make it hard, we had to put Corendon -Circus and Mathieu van der Poel under pressure. Second on the stage for [team-mate Matteo] Trentin is very good.”

On his team’s 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain: “We got two stage wins, we’ve had the jersey and we’re second overall and we might have the points jersey so, yeah, it’s been an awesome Tour. We’re really satisfied but we’ve still got one day to go so we’ll have another go tomorrow.”

Downloads and links

Click here for the stage seven report | Click here for full stage results