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With an impressive sprint from far back, Gaviria easily passed Greipel to take a dominant win in stage 4 of the Tour of Britain; Lobato defended the lead over Boasson Hagen who got bonus seconds by taking third

ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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EDVALD BOASSON HAGEN

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FERNANDO GAVIRIA

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JUAN JOSE LOBATO

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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QUICK-STEP - ALPHA VINYL

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09.09.2015 @ 18:33 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) again confirmed that he is one of the future top sprinters when he almost made André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) look like a junior rider in stage 4 of the Tour of Britain. Starting his sprint from far back, he easily passed the German who had been given a great lead-out and he took a dominant victory in the bunch sprint. Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) defended the lead but his advantage was reduced to six seconds as Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) got bonus seconds by taking third.

 

In January, the cycling world was hugely surprised by a young Colombian sprinter. Riding for the Colombian national team, Fernando Gaviria beat Mark Cavendish twice in the Tour de San Luis and suddenly he was one of the hottest topics on the transfer market.

 

Etixx-QuickStep were quick to react as they promptly signed the Colombian who is now riding his first races with the Belgian team as a stagiaire before he officially joins the WorldTour next year. He already proved his class by winning a stage in the Czech Cycling Tour but it is today’s performance that really confirms his potential.

 

On a day when most were looking forward to another battle between Elia Viviani, Cavendish and André Greipel, Gaviria got his chance to sprint for Etixx-QuickStep. That turned out to be a great decision as he comfortably beat André Greipel into second place.

 

The final three survivors of the early break were brought back by the Sky team with 16km to go and from there, Ian Stannard was making sure that no one would escape. He continued to ride on the front for several kilometres but with 10km to go, the Tinkoff-Saxo train moved up next to him. As Madison and Cannondale-Garmin also came to the fore, Andrew Fenn took over but the British team was quickly swamped as Tinkoff-Saxo and Lotto Soudal lined up their troops next to each other.

 

Team Wiggins took control with one of their young riders who was unable to respond when Martin Mortensen (Cult) and Stefan Küng (BMC) took off with 7km to go. However, Bradley Wiggins quickly took over and he reeled the dup in just one kilometre later.

 

The Brit swung off with 5km to go where Sky took over with Peter Kennaugh. The British champions stayed on the front until they passed the 2km to go mark where Lotto Soudal hit the front with four riders.

 

Pim Ligthart launched the train before Sean De Bie took a massive turn. He led the group under the flamme rouge until Marcel Sieberg upped the pace even further with 700m to go.

 

The MTN-Qhubeka pair of Gerald Ciolek and Edvald Boasson Hagen moved up next to Sieberg and André Greipel, forcing the German to start his sprint. He passed the two riders from the South African team and looked destined to take the win when Fernando Gaviria suddenly came flying. The Colombian had been far back at the start of the sprint but was in a class of his own as he easily relegated Greipel to second and Boasson Hagen to third.

 

Juan Jose Lobato had to settle for 15th but that was enough to defend his lead even though the bonus second means that Boasson Hagen is now only 6 seconds behind in second. However, he faces a tough challenge in tomorrow’s queen stage. A lumpy stage with one category 1 and two category 3 climbs ends at the top of the 7km climb of Hartside Fell where the climbers are expected to come to the fore.

 

A long stage

After yesterday’s long sprint stage, the terrain was even flatter in stage 4 which brought the riders over a mammoth 217.4km from Edinburgh to Blyth. The riders tackled a category 2 climb in the enarly part of the stage and then there were another two category 3 climbs in the middle sections but otherwise it was predominantly flat.

 

It was again relatively nice conditions when the riders gathered for the start in the Scottish capital. One rider was missing as previous leader Petr Vakoc (Etixx-QuickStep) was unable to take the start after he crashed yesterday. Like in the previous stages, there were lots of attacks and it was Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep), Pim Ligthart (Lotto Soudal), Tom Scully (Madison), Nikolay Trusov (Tinkoff-Saxo), Marcin Bialoblocki (One Pro) and Andy Tennant (Wiggins) that got clear in the hectic opening phase. They got an advantage of around 15 seconds but Movistar chased hard and brought it back together.

 

The break is formed

Martin Mortensen (Cult) was the next rider to escape while lots of riders suffered punctures, including Mark McNally and Ruben Fernandez. The Dane was brought back and another four riders escaped. Two bridged across and it was a 6-rider group that gradually managed to extend their 15-second advantage to a minute.

 

Trentin was again part of the action and he was joined by Alan Marangoni (Cannondale-Garmin), Michael Carbel (Cult), Danilo Wyss (BMC), Reinardt van Rensburg (MTN-Qhubeka) and Rob Partridge (NFTO). While they increased their advantage Wyss beat Marangoni and Carbel in the first intermediate sprint.

 

More KOM points for Partridge

Wyss also led Partridge, Trentin, van Rensburg, Marangoni and Carbel over the top of the first climb while Movistar had taken control of the peloton. Alex Dowsett, Igor Anton and Gorka Izagirre were doing the work that had allowed the gap to go out to 2.40.

 

After 80km of racing, the gap was still 2.40. It was up to 3 minutes when they hit the second climb where Patridge took maximum points ahead of Wyss, Marangoni and Trentin.

 

Movistar in control

Dowsett and Izagirre were unwilling to let the situation get out of control so they kept the gap stable at round 3 minutes for most of the day. Meanwhile, Partridge picked up more KOM points as he won the final KOM sprint ahead of Trentin, Marangoni and Carbel.

 

Trentin led Carbel and Wyss across the line in the second sprint. Meanwhile, the Movistar were slowing slightly down and the gap had gone out to 4.10 with 65km to go. That was the signal for Herman Frison (Lotto Soudal) and Ian Stannard (Sky) to join forces with Movistar and they had brought the gap down to 3.30 when Wyss beat van Rensburg and Trentin in the final intermediate sprint with 59km to go.

 

The break splits up

Movistar stopped their work and left it to Stannard and Frison to set the pace. The pair did a solid job and had reduced the gap to 2.20 with 50km to go. Five kilometres later, the break split up as Trentin, Marangoni and Wyss dropped their companions.

 

The trio did well to keep the gap at around 2.15 for 10km but as they entered the final 35km, they started to lose ground. It was down to 1.50 with 30km to go where Frison ended his work and Peter Kennaugh started to work for Sky.

 

The break is caught

Fenn quickly replaced the British champion and it was the pair of Fenn and Stannard that had brought the gap down to 1.20 with 25km to go. Frison briefly came to the fore to take a final turn before Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) lent a hand.

 

The Eritrean finished his work with 20km to go and from there it was left to Fenn and Stannard to close the final 35-second gap. They made the junction three kilometres later even though Marangoni briefly tried to make a solo attack and from there it was Stannard in control until the sprint teams started to battle.

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