Tour of Britain: Groenewegen wins stage 4

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) won stage 4 of the Tour of Britain in a bunch finish at Builth Wells after a demanding day of racing in Wales. The Dutch champion defeated Dan McLay (Great Britain) in a keenly-contested sprint, while Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) placed fifth to retain the yellow jersey of race leader.

The closing kilometres saw Groenewegen's LottoNL-Jumbo and André Greipel's Lotto Soudal squads vie for supremacy at the head of a reduced peloton, each man aware of the importance of positioning in the sinuous finale. The race had broken up on the rugged terrain in the final 40 kilometres of the Tour of Britain's longest stage, and a number of contenders for the win – including Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) – were distanced.

Tony Martin led the race under the flamme rouge in support of Vermote, but LottoNL-Jumbo took over soon afterwards and won the race within a race to the first sharp right-hand turn with 600 metres remaining. Groenwegen was tucked safely in second position there, just behind teammate Tom Leezer, while the Lotto Soudal train derailed.

Leezer expertly piloted Groenegwegen through the three turns that followed, and by the time the Dutchman straightened up for the sprint, only McLay and Ben Swift (Sky) were in any sort of contention to compete for the win.

Indeed, McLay put up a fierce battle in the final 200 metres, almost drawing level with Groenwegen, but he was coming from too far back to deny him the spoils, and had to settle for second place, sportingly offering a handshake as they wheeled to a halt past the line. Swift, meanwhile, held on for third place on the stage ahead of Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Vermote.

It was the 23-year-old Groenwegen's second victory on British roads this year following his win on the opening day of the Tour de Yorkshire, and was also something of a calling card for the Dutch national selectors ahead of next month's World Championships road race in Doha.

"I won in Yorkshire and I've won here too," Groenewegen said. "Today was a very hard stage with all the climbs, and it was very long, so I knew there was only a small chance I could fight for it. But the team was very strong and I started to think I could do it. It was a very hard final but the team worked very hard and I had four guys for me, so it was a perfect team performance."

Attacks

Despite the rugged terrain, it took some time for the day's early break to form, as the race stayed together long enough for Nicolas Roche (Sky) to lead over the first categorised climb, Rhydtalog. 40 kilometres in, Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), Matt Holmes (Madison-Genesis), Rob Partridge (NFTO) and Benito Diez (Caja Rural) eventually broke the deadlock and forged clear, opening a maximum lead of 5:30 over the top of the climb of Bwlch-y-Safan midway through the stage.

That gap had been shaved back to three minutes with 60 kilometres to race, and at that point, the stage seemed set for a bunch finish. That, ultimately, was what transpired, but as is often the case in this part of the world, the final destination was reached by way of a circuitous route.

Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac) set a fierce tempo on the rolling roads in the final 50 kilometres and when Movistar and Wout Poels (Sky) put their shoulders to the wheel on an unclassified climb with 40 kilometres to go, the peloton duly fragmented, with Cavendish and Greipel among the many riders left behind, while Tonelli, the last survivor from the break, was swept up.

Tony Martin helped to bring some order to proceedings shortly afterwards but the difficult terrain inspire a number of attacks, including short-lived efforts from Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) and Nicolas Roche (Sky), and a more sustained solo raid by Sebastian Langeveld (Cannondale-Drapac).

Greipel was part of a 20-man group that managed to latch back on with 25 kilometres remaining, and with Cavendish unable to make it back up, Lotto Soudal duly took over at the head of the bunch in a bid to set up the German.

Ephemeral moves from Jochem Hoekstra (Giant-Alpecin) and later Taylor Phinney (BMC) and Edoard Zanini (Bardiani-CSF) followed, but nothing would deny the fast men their opportunity in Builth Wells, even if it would ultimately be squandered by Lotto Soudal and Greipel.

In the race for final overall victory, meanwhile, Vermote retains his slender six-second lead over Steve Cummings (Dimension Data). Swift and Gallopin lie at 1:03, with Dan Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) a further second back in fifth.

"It was a really tough stage, particularly the final," Vermote said. "I didn't expect it to be so hard to be honest, but my teammates did really great work today, and in the final I could count on Tony and Dan. We'll see tomorrow, because it's another really hard day, but I'm happy to still be in yellow."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo5:28:49
2Daniel McLay (GBr) Great Britain
3Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
4Carlos Barbero (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
5Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
6Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-BikeExchange
8Nicolas Vereecken (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction
9Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
10Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
11Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
12Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF
13Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
14Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
15Russell Downing (GBr) JLT Condor
16Dion Smith (NZl) ONE Pro Cycling
17Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
18Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data
19Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
20Domingos Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
21Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
22Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
23Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling
24Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Great Britain
25Ian Bibby (GBr) NFTO
26Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
27Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
28Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
29Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data
30Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky
31Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
32Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF
33Hector Saez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
34Thomas Stewart (GBr) Madison Genesis
35Mark Stewart (GBr) Great Britain
36Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac
37Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step
38Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Cannondale-Drapac
39Steven Lampier (GBr) JLT Condor
40Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
41Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
42Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
43Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF
44Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
45Mark Christian (GBr) Team WIGGINS
46Jorge Arcas Pena (Spa) Movistar Team
47Edmund Bradbury (GBr) NFTO
48Jochem Hoekstra (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
49Jacob Scott (GBr) An Post-Chainreaction
50Gorka Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar Team
51Daniel Pearson (GBr) Team WIGGINS
52Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
53Erick Rowsell (GBr) Madison Genesis
54Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
55Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
56Gabriel Cullaigh (GBr) Great Britain
57Peter Williams (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling
58Taylor Eisenhart (USA) BMC Racing Team
59Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team
60Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:00:15
61André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:00:18
62Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:19
63James Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal
64Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step
65Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky
66Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky0:00:40
67Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:51
68Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:13
69Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:02:08
70Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data0:05:16
71Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Team WIGGINS
72Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
73Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Etixx - Quick-Step
74Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF
75Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
76Alistair Slater (GBr) JLT Condor
77Thomas Moses (GBr) JLT Condor
78Steele Von Hoff (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling
79Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
80Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
81Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis0:11:54
82Amets Txurruka (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange
83Hayden McCormick (NZl) ONE Pro Cycling
84Robert Power (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
85Mark McNally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
86Damien Shaw (Irl) An Post-Chainreaction
87Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) NFTO
88Dale Appleby (GBr) NFTO
89Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team
90Miguel Angel Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
91Taylor Karl Gunman (NZl) Madison Genesis
92Owain Doull (GBr) Team WIGGINS
93Adam Blythe (GBr) Great Britain
94Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF
95Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
96Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
97Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
98Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data0:13:25
99Conor Dunne (Irl) JLT Condor
100Alexandre Blain (Fra) Madison Genesis
101Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team WIGGINS
102Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
103Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
104Robert Partridge (GBr) NFTO
105Christopher Latham (GBr) Team WIGGINS
106Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step
107Jasper Bovenhuis (Ned) An Post-Chainreaction
108Oliver Ket-Spark (Aus) An Post-Chainreaction0:17:37
109Mathew Cronshaw (GBr) Madison Genesis
110Kristian House (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling
111Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
112Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac
113Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
114Javier Aramendia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
115Emiel Wastyn (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction
116Oliver Wood (GBr) Great Britain
117Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor
118Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
119Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data
120Liam Stones (GBr) NFTO
DNFJuan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
DNSGiacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo15pts
2Daniel McLay (GBr) Great Britain14
3Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky13
4Carlos Barbero (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA12
5Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step11
6Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo10
7Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-BikeExchange9
8Nicolas Vereecken (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction8
9Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin7
10Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA6
11Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo5
12Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF4
13Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert3
14Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team2
15Russell Downing (GBr) JLT Condor1
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Sprint 1 - Mold, km. 23.7
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jasper Bovenhuis (Ned) An Post-Chainreaction3pts
2Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal2
3Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky1
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Sprint 2 - Foel, km. 122.
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF3pts
2Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis2
3Robert Partridge (GBr) NFTO1
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Sprint 3 - Newbridge-on-Wye, km. 210.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal3pts
2Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data2
3Jacob Scott (GBr) An Post-Chainreaction1
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Mountain 1 - Rhydtalog, km. 31.3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky4pts
2Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert3
3Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Wanty - Groupe Gobert2
4Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF1
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Mountain 2 - Bwich-y-Safan, km. 79.2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robert Partridge (GBr) NFTO6pts
2Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis5
3Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF4
4Miguel Angel Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA3
5Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert2
6Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky1
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Mountain 3 - Dyfnant Forest, km. 115.2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis6pts
2Miguel Angel Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA5
3Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF4
4Robert Partridge (GBr) NFTO3
5Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert2
6Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert1
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Combativity
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caja Rural-Seguros RGA16:26:27
2Great Britain
3BMC Racing Team
4Team Giant-Alpecin
5Bardiani CSF
6Cannondale-Drapac
7Wanty - Groupe Gobert
8ONE Pro Cycling
9Movistar Team
10Lotto Soudal0:00:15
11Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:19
12Team Sky
13Etixx - Quick-Step
14Trek-Segafredo0:05:16
15Dimension Data
16JLT - Condor
17Team Wiggins
18An Post - Chain Reaction0:11:54
19NFTO
20Madison - Genesis
21Orica-BikeExchange0:23:48
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General classification after stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step18:22:04
2Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data0:00:06
3Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky0:01:03
4Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
5Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:04
6Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:08
7Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac0:01:12
8Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
9Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
10Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky0:01:16
11Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
12Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:01:17
13Mark Christian (GBr) Team WIGGINS0:03:00
14Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Cannondale-Drapac0:04:33
15Edmund Bradbury (GBr) NFTO0:04:37
16Erick Rowsell (GBr) Madison Genesis0:04:39
17Ian Bibby (GBr) NFTO0:04:41
18Dion Smith (NZl) ONE Pro Cycling
19Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
20Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac0:04:43
21Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Great Britain
22Steven Lampier (GBr) JLT Condor
23Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF
24Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
25Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac0:04:53
26Thomas Stewart (GBr) Madison Genesis0:04:55
27Daniel Pearson (GBr) Team WIGGINS
28James Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal0:05:02
29Domingos Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:03
30Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:05:05
31Hector Saez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:09
32Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:05:20
33Jochem Hoekstra (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:05:28
34Nicolas Vereecken (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction0:05:31
35Carlos Barbero (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
36Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF
37Russell Downing (GBr) JLT Condor
38Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:39
39Gorka Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:52
40Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
41Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team0:06:04
42Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:06:42
43Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:07:41
44Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:09:43
45Alistair Slater (GBr) JLT Condor0:10:52
46Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:12:48
47Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:13:03
48Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:13:13
49Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-BikeExchange
50Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling
51Daniel McLay (GBr) Great Britain0:13:28
52André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:13:33
53Mark Stewart (GBr) Great Britain0:13:34
54Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team
55Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:13:59
56Jacob Scott (GBr) An Post-Chainreaction0:14:56
57Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:14:57
58Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:15:18
59Gabriel Cullaigh (GBr) Great Britain
60Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:15:33
61Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky0:15:37
62Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data0:15:38
63Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:15:48
64Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:16:34
65Taylor Eisenhart (USA) BMC Racing Team
66Amets Txurruka (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange0:16:37
67Miguel Angel Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:16:53
68Robert Power (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange0:18:00
69Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:18:05
70Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step0:18:29
71Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:18:50
72Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data0:19:09
73Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis0:19:11
74Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Team WIGGINS0:20:06
75Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:20:09
76Steele Von Hoff (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling0:20:13
77Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Etixx - Quick-Step
78Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
79Thomas Moses (GBr) JLT Condor0:20:33
80Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky0:20:43
81Peter Williams (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling0:21:23
82Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:21:44
83Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:21:50
84Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step0:22:09
85Jorge Arcas Pena (Spa) Movistar Team0:23:22
86Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:26:51
87Adam Blythe (GBr) Great Britain
88Mark McNally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
89Robert Partridge (GBr) NFTO0:26:58
90Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange0:27:06
91Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) NFTO0:27:10
92Dale Appleby (GBr) NFTO0:27:12
93Damien Shaw (Irl) An Post-Chainreaction