After a successful stage six in Somerset, Lars Boom remained on course for a Tour of Britain win by protecting his 28-second advantage on stage seven in Suffolk and Norfolk.
The Rabobank rider finished well inside the peloton, without conceding time to his rivals, and now heads the standings going into the final stage in London, which will involve an individual time trial and circuit race.
The 199.7km stage took riders from Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham. Lithuanian Gediminas Bagdonas took the stage seven honours in a sprint finish, in four hours, 33 minutes and 17 seconds, ahead of Britain's Ian Wilkinson, with Mark Cavendish coming in seventh and Welsh Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas finishing the stage in 10th.
"Another long day tomorrow but I am confident for the time trial and criterium [circuit]." Dutchman Boom, 25, said afterwards.
The eighth stage of the Tour of Britain, often described as the toughest race of the cycling calendar, takes the riders to London where the individual time trial will be introduced for the first time in central London.
The TfL London Stage 8a will take the battle for the IG Markets Gold Jersey to the wire, and play a crucial role in who succeeds Michael Albasini, as Tour of Britain winner. With only five corners on the 8.8 kilometre circuit, fast times are expected on a course which will suit the experienced time trialists.
Using the same iconic circuit as Stage 8b, the time trial starts slightly further up Whitehall at the end of Whitehall Place, where riders will roll down the time trial ramp at one-minute intervals. From Whitehall the stage heads up to Trafalgar Square where a right hand turn takes riders down Northumberland Avenue to the Thames. A left turn leads onto the Embankment for the long blast up to Tower Hill.
Then the route retraces its steps, with the slight downhill back to the Embankment making it the fastest section of the course, following the Embankment to Westminster Bridge, where two right turns in rapid succession, take The Tour past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
Riders then make one final effort and one final corner to the line, clipping Parliament Square as they turn into Whitehall.
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