Van der Poel extends Tour of Britain lead

London (AFP) –


Mathieu van der Poel cemented his overall lead in the Tour of Britain as the Dutchman powered to victory in the seventh stage on Friday.

Van der Poel's second stage win in this year's race moved him 12 seconds clear of second-placed Matteo Trentin going into Saturday's final stage.

The 24-year-old Corendon-Circus rider held off his rivals on the stiff uphill finish in Warwickshire, beating Michelton-Scott's Trentin to the finish line by one second.

Trentin was unable to respond to Van der Poel's surge and gave his opponent a thumbs up in the closing moments.

"I feel better day by day and I surprised myself with the TT yesterday. I think it's an indication of my shape if you can ride that fast over 14km on your own," Van der Poel said.

"I saw someone was on my wheel but I didn't know who it was. I guessed it was Matteo. I knew that finishes like today suit me well.

"It was a pretty hard day. The first 70km there were a lot of attacks and the team handled it perfectly. They did an amazing job."

Australian Simon Clarke led the peloton across the line three seconds behind Van der Poel.

The 166km final stage starts in Altrincham and finishes in Manchester.