The last three winners at the Tour of Britain have all been riders who have either won, or have gone on to win monuments: Wout van Aert this year, Mathieu van der Poel in 2019 and Julian Alaphilipp­e in 2018. 2020 was cancelled because of covid, so we will simply have to speculate that it would have been won by Jasper Stuyven or Kasper Asgreen. It is obviously the kind of race that favours punchy sprinters, or climbers who have a bit of a sprint to them too, like the three mentioned above. Its position in the calendar just ahead of the Worlds also means that it attracts classicsst­yle riders looking to build their form ahead of the road race. What this means is that the riders who win the Tour of Britain are not your usual kind of general classifica­tion rider, and controllin­g a race for the leader’s jersey might be a bit of a mystery to them. Out of the last 10 editions, the only standout GC winner was Bradley Wiggins in 2013, in a race almost designed for him to win. Other than that, the idea of these winners triumphing in one of the elite stage races seems pretty alien; it is doubtful that Van Aert, Van der Poel or Alaphilipp­e will ever win the Critérium du Dauphiné, for example.

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