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Belgium’s Wout van Aert sprinted to victory in the opening stage of the Tour of Britain with Ethan Hayter the first Briton home in fourth.

Van Aert, 26, won the uphill sprint in Bodmin from Dutchman Nils Eekhoff, with Spain’s Gonzalo Serrano third.

With the bonus seconds awarded to the first three riders, Ineos’ Hayter – who won Olympic silver in the madison – lies 10 seconds off the lead.

Mark Cavendish worked hard for his team-mates and finished in 59th place.

Cavendish, 36, equalled the great Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour de France stage wins in July, but was riding as a domestique in the service of Deceuninck Quick-Step team-mate Julian Alaphilippe on Sunday.

The 180km stage, which began in Penzance, took the riders around Cornwall.

World champion Alaphilippe, profiting from the hard work of Cavendish, launched an attack with 500m to go in Bodmin on a short climb, but was reined in by Van Aert.

“It was a tough stage,” said Van Aert. “It was good for me to adapt to these kind of roads and to get used to them.

“Obviously, on the first day of a race everybody is still fresh so it was a big battle to be at the front for the sprint.”

Monday’s second stage sees the riders move into Devon for a 184km ride from Sherford to Exeter.

Overall standings after stage one

1. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo Visma) 4 hrs 33 mins 26 secs

2. Nils Eekhoff (Ned/DSM) +4 secs

3. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa/Movistar) +6 secs

4. Ethan Hayter (GB/Ineos) +10 secs

5. Rory Townsend (Ire/Canyon) Same time

6. Michael Woods (Can/Israel Start-Up Nation)

7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Qhubeka Nexthash)

8. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck Quick-Step)

9. Xandro Meurisse (Bel/Alpecin-Fenix)

10. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita/Alpecin-Fenix)

SOURCE: BBC Sport – Cycling RSS   (go to source)
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