Dutch cyclist Pist Van Katwijk became the overall winner of the Tour of Britain Milk Race on Saturday (June 9).
Dutch cyclist Pist Van Katwijk became the overall winner of the Tour of Britain Milk Race on Saturday (June 9). Although he finished second in the final stage of the 12 day, 1,100 mils(760 kms) contest.
It was the Netherlands's third successive victory. Van Katwijk clinched his overall success in a spectacular mass sprint for the finishing line involving 42 cyclists. The final 84-mile stage, from Penrith to Blackpool, was won by Jo de Boer, also from Holland.
Van Katwijk completed the 12 stages in a total time of 42 hours 31 minutes 59 secs. Bernt Johansson of Sweden was overall second, one minute 35 secs behind Van Katwijk. Fedor Den Hertog of Holland was third.
During the race, Van Katwijk was given a penalty of one minute, when the judges decided he had a baulked a British cyclist, Peter Watson, who was in the running for the King of the Mountains title. But this was later removed after evidence given by Watson.
The Swedish team were the overall winners, with a time just over three minutes better than the Dutch team. Czechoslovakia was third and the British "A" team fourth.
The King of the Mountains title was shared between Peter Watson and Roine Greenland of Sweden.
Sixty six cyclists and teams from the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Sweden, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand took part.
SYNOPSIS: The twelfth and final stage of the Tour of Britain Milk Race began at Penrith on Saturday. Only the eighty four miles to Blackpool remained of the eleven-hundred mils, twelve day race. The Dutch cyclist Piet Van Katwijk, was the favourite to win the overall title.
He had won three of the first five stages with his fast sprint finish.
More than sixty riders from nine nations were competing.
The battle for the overall team prize was between the Dutch and the Swedish.
Little separated the main group of cyclists as they raced towards the end of the gruelling event.
The Milk Race, which involves many mountain sections in England and Wales, is considered the toughest amateur cycling race there is.
The race ended in a spectacular sprint for the finishing line, by forty-two riders, after various attempts to break away from the group in the final miles had failed.
Piet Van Ketwijk finished second - good enough to make him overall winner.
Watson, of Britain and Sweden's Greenland, shared the King of the Mountain's title.
It was the third successive Dutch victory. The Swedes won the team prize.