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"I did my best, and at the end I saw that I was closing in on and passing Greipel. To me, when I crossed the line as the winner, it was a huge moment. I beat one of the best sprinters in the pro peloton, a point of reference for a guy...

FERNANDO GAVIRIA

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10.09.2015 @ 00:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Fernando Gaviria showed incredible closing speed in the final meters of the 217.4km Aviva Tour of Britain Stage 4 on Wednesday, launching from behind, then passing and beating some of the best sprinters in the peloton as a stagiaire.

 

Lotto Soudal had the ideal position heading into the sprint, moving their leadout to the head of the peloton with 1.9km left to race. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN Qhubeka) were the first riders to jump, but there were still several hundred meters left until the finish line. The Colombian rider, riding for Etixx - Quick-Step, appeared to be out of the picture for a moment. However, Gaviria pounced on the wheel of Boasson Hagen, then went full gas to the line to beat Greipel and Boasson Hagen. Mark Cavendish was also in the mix for the sprint, and he raised his arms in celebration as he watched Gaviria cross as the stage winner.

 

Etixx - Quick-Step has now won 49 road races in 2015, with Gaviria already contributing two of those victories in just a few races as a stagiaire. Gaviria, a track star who won the 2015 Omnium at the UCI Men's Track World Championships, showed his promise early on the road. He won two stages of Tour de San Luis before reaching a contract agreement with Etixx - Quick-Step. He will be on the team beginning with the 2016 season.

 

Matteo Trentin was part of the original breakaway, but the breakaway was down to three riders before getting caught with 16.5km left to race. Trentin received the Combativity/Most Aggressive Rider Award for his effort in the breakaway.

 

Petr Vakoc, who crashed in the leader's jersey in the 3rd Stage, did not take the start.

 

Etixx - Quick-Step has achieved 18 team victories at Tour of Britain since the 2004 season.

 

"Today is an important day in my career," Gaviria said. "I won the race against the best sprinters in the world. But it wasn't planned like that. My job today was to pull in the sprint for Mark. Matteo entered the breakaway, which covered us so we could save our energy for the finale. But Mark was a little bit boxed in the last corner at 400 meters to go, and he couldn't really sprint. So, I looked around me and I made the decision to go for the sprint.

 

"I did my best, and at the end I saw that I was closing in on and passing Greipel. To me, when I crossed the line as the winner, it was a huge moment. I beat one of the best sprinters in the pro peloton, a point of reference for a guy like myself. So, it's really an honor to get this victory.

 

"Tour of Britain is a great new experience. We have a nice group here. I'm learning a lot every day. In the next days we will probably have more chances as a team. We will see what we can accomplish.

 

"Today I just want to enjoy this moment, which is one of the best for me so far. I also want to give best wishes to Petr, who didn't start this morning. It was a sad moment for the team, and I am glad to show him with this victory that we will keep fighting for good results while he is recovering."

 

"It's a little bit of a consolation prize for the whole day spent in front," Trentin said of his combativity award. "It was a little bit tough going into the breakaway. At first it was me, Marangoni, and Wyss, and then three other guys came across. But, at the end, we needed the whole breakaway very strong to stay away.

 

"The main focus was really to win the stage, so after we came back, the team organized for the sprint. Fernando did it really well. So, even if it wasn't me who was able to go for the victory today, our plan still worked.

 

"Now we have to focus on the next days. We'll have to see how we're all feeling tomorrow after two wins, a yellow jersey, and podium places every day so far at this Tour of Britain. It won't be easy. We'll see what we can do for the GC. We'll try our best to take our chance."

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