Swift fourth as Van Baarle goes on the attack

19 Sep 2019

Swift fourth as Van Baarle goes on the attack

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Tour of Britain stage four: Gateshead - Kendal, 173.2km.

Ben Swift sprinted to fourth in a hectic finale to stage four of the Tour of Britain which was won by Mathieu Van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) who now leads the race.

Van der Poel attacked from an elite group in the final 500 metres, sprinting uphill to the tough finish in Kendal with Swift finishing fourth as the other GC contenders battled for second place - which has moved the British national champion up to sixth overall.

Earlier, Team INEOS had enlivened the stage as Dylan van Baarle attacked with Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) in an early breakaway, with the pair being joined by Eddie Dunbar who impressively bridged a two minute gap, to continue the offensive as a trio which at one point had a lead of nearly four minutes.

However, with Mitchelton-Scott keen to protect Matteo Trentin’s green jersey, they pushed the pace in the peloton and slowly reduced the trio’s advantage with Dunbar and then Domont dropping back into the pack. 

With 60 kilometres remaining, Van Baarle - who was awarded the Wahoo combativity award - battled valiantly on his own until the final categorised climb, the Gawthorp, loomed large  36km from the finish, which saw the peloton catch him and continue to press the pace which caused the bunch split in several places.

Gianni Moscon, Pavel Sivakov and Michal Golas all took turns in pushing a fierce pace on the front of the bunch, but no moves were allowed to escape until a trio of Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale), James Shaw ( Swiftcarbon Pro Cycling) and Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) went clear in the final 10km.

They looked like they may upset the odds, and the GC group, but they were caught in the final kilometre before the final sprint to the line. 
Van Baarle and Dunbar fuelling the break in the feed zone

Van Baarle and Dunbar fuelling the break in the feed zone


Dylan van Baarle

We wanted to make the race hard from the start, and it was a shame there was only three of us but we made it hard enough for the other guys.

"The stage was really hard as we had a headwind all day, so it was not ideal for a three man breakaway, but we worked really well together - Eddie Dunbar did a really good job - bit I didn't finish it off. There are some more stages to go and it will be good to try again.

"The team is really strong and the other guys are riding really well so hopefully we can finish strongly on Saturday."
Tour of Britain stage four result:

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) 4:23:08
2. Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) s.t.
3.  Simon Clarke (EF Education First) s.t.
4. Ben Swift (Team INEOS) s.t.
5. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Jumbo-Visma) s.t.

Overall standings:

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) 17:36:27
2. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) +1"
3. Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) +7"
4. Simon Clarke (EF Education First) +14"
5. Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) +15"
6. Ben Swift (Team INEOS) +19"