Belgian rider Yves Lampaert took Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s first victory of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain in Edinburgh on Saturday at the end of a stage dominated by a six-man breakaway group.

Lampaert outsprinted Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team) and Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling’s Matt Gibson in the world-famous Holyrood Park after the trio broke away on the outskirts of the Scottish capital.

INEOS Grenadiers rider Ethan Hayter finished safely within the peloton to retain his overall lead and move to within a day of becoming the first British winner of the national tour in five years.

Hayter has also sealed the points jersey owing to his insurmountable lead going into Sunday’s final stage, providing he finishes the race.

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Video: Watch highlights of stage seven, held between Hawick and Edinburgh

Lampaert said: “It was quite nervy. There were three of us in the lead, so it’s always difficult to finish it off. But I took the wheel of Gibson – I heard on the radio that he was quite fast. I did quite a long sprint; I started at 250 [metres] to go and I held it to the line.

“I’m really happy. I’ve worked to make a lot of team victories but today I could finish it off for myself. That’s a huge relief. Every victory has a special place in my heart, and it’s not that I win every week, so I’m really happy.”

Lampaert, Jorgenson and Gibson were part of a six-rider group that broke away early on the stage from Hawick, along with the eventual stage winner’s Deceuninck – Quick-Step team-mate Davide Ballerini, Pascal Eenkhoorn (Team Jumbo Visma), and TRINITY Racing’s Christopher Blevins.

The sextet built a maximum advantage of nearly 10 minutes and were allowed their head coming into Edinburgh, as INEOS Grenadiers controlled the gap to ensure the race didn’t come back together, therefore ensuring that Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo Visma) couldn’t collect any time bonuses to threaten Hayter’s overall lead.

Blevins was the first to be distanced with 20 kilometres to go on an unclassified climb out of Ford, before Lampaert attacked with 8.5 kilometres remaining and split the group. Jorgenson reacted first to get onto the former Belgian champion’s wheel, with Gibson putting in a concerted effort to then get across to the pair, reaching them five kilometres out from the Scottish capital.

The trio then worked well to distance Eenkhoorn and Ballerini. Coming into Holyrood Park, it was the Ribble Weldtite rider who was forced to set the pace, as his two rivals from UCI WorldTeams used their experience to put the Briton in an unenviable position. Once Lampaert hit the front in sight of the line, a first road race victory in 11 months never looked in doubt.

Race leader Hayter led home the peloton to take sixth, 1:51 after Lampaert had crossed the line, with GC rival van Aert immediately behind him. He said: “It was a good day all round because we kept the jersey and have one day left to go. Having a strong team is probably more important than being a strong rider at the end of the day like today – Richie [Porte] and Owain[Doull] have ridden on the front for the past two days, which is pretty impressive.” 

“It’s probably going to kick off tomorrow, it always does on the last day of a stage race. I’ll do my best to beat Wout if it does come to a sprint.”

Jacob Scott (Canyon dhb SunGod) retains both the ŠKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg sprints jerseys and will win both providing he finishes Sunday’s stage.

The AJ Bell Tour of Britain concludes with stage eight from Stonehaven to Aberdeen over 173 kilometres (107.6 miles) including the famous ŠKODA King of the Mountains climb of Cairn o’Mount early in the stage plus intermediate Eisberg sprints, with their time bonuses, at Finzean, Aboyne, and Ballater.

In addition to hosting the final stage of the 2021 AJ Bell Tour of Britain, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will host the opening stage of the 2022 race, signalling Scotland’s commitment to hosting world-class racing ahead of the 2023 UCI Cycling world championships in the country.

The AJ Bell Tour of Britain is sponsored by AJ Bell, one of the UK’s leading online investment platforms, helping people invest for the long term via ISAs, pensions and general investment accounts.  It has a rich history of supporting elite level sport including badminton, cricket, rugby, squash and triathlon.

Click here for full results presented by Brother UK.