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Live coverage

Tour of Britain 2018: Stage 4


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 4 of the 2018 Tour of Britain. Today looks like a sprint stage after two days of GC action. Yesterday we saw Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) take the stage win in Bristol, while Patrick Bevin (BMC) is the new race leader, separated from Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott) only on stage position countback.

Today's stage takes place in the Midlands, heading from Nuneaton to Royal Leamington Spa. It's a lumpy one, with three second category climbs en route to the finish, but unless teams want to make the race really hard then it looks like we should see a bunch sprint this afternoon.

Stage 4 gets underway in around 20 minutes time, with the flag dropping to signal the official start 15 minutes later.


A reminder of the GC picture heading into the stage:


1. Patrick Bevin (BMC) 11:03:11

2. Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott) +00:00

3. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) +00:02

4. Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) +00:12

5. Wout Poels (Team Sky)

6. Chris Hamilton (Team Sunweb)

7. Bob Jungels (Quick Step Floors)

8. Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo)

9. Hugh Carthy (EF-Drapac) +00:19

10. Scott Davies (Dimension Data) +00:22


Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) won yesterday's stage 3 in a reduced bunch sprint on Clifton Down in Bristol after a tough finale which included a first category climb. The Frenchman now lies third on GC, just two seconds off the race lead, and with a summit finish and team time trial to come, he's possibly the favourite to win the entire race.



Just a couple of minutes until the riders roll out to start the stage now.


And we're off. The riders have left and are now riding through the neutralised section, with the start proper coming in 15 minutes.


As we await the official race start, how about some news?


On the transfer front, Nicholas Roche is on the move from BMC to Team Sunweb, where he'll serve as a valuable mountain domestique for Tom Dumoulin. Meanwhile, Dimension Data have completed the signing of Enrico Gasparotto, meaning they've signed up the entire podium of this year's Amstel Gold Race.


Several contract renewals have been announced recently too, with LottoNL-Jumbo bringing back Jos Van Emden and Bert-Jan Lindeman. Astana have re-signed Kazakh rider Zandos Bizhigitov.


Finally, the news has come through this morning that Bahrain-Merida veteran Kanstantin Siutsou tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test on July 31. The 36-year-old, who won the Tour of Croatia earlier in the year, has been provisionally suspended, pending B sample analysis.


183km remaining from 183km

The flag drops and we're off! Stage 4 has begaun and the attacks begin.

Five riders are off the front.


They already have a good gap, with the peloton seemingly keen to let a group go early, in contrast to yesterday's half-stage battle to establish a breakaway.


180km remaining from 183km

Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data), who took the black KOM jersey after stage one, is among the five men out front.


Our break of the day is established now. Here are the names of the riders up front:


Alex Paton (Canyon-Eisberg)

Matthew Holmes (Madison-Genesis)

Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data)

Hayden McCormick (One Pro Cycling)

Paul Ourselin (Direct Énergie)

Tom Moses (JLT-Condor)


Both Dlamini and Moses were out in the break on stage 1 too, while Holmes is enjoying his second consecutive day in the break.


Holmes is the best-placed man on GC from the break. He lies 41st overall, 3:48 down on race leader Bevin.


Moses lies fourth in the intermediate sprints classification. Currently on 4 points, he can take the red jersey today by surpassing current leader Matthew Teggart (Team Wiggins), who has 9.


Meanwhile, Dlamini's 13 KOM points mean that he lies 6th overall in that classification. With 24 points up for grabs today, he can take back the black jersey from teammate Scott Davies, who is currently top with 26 points.


Here's the Cyclingnews story on Kanstantin Siutsou's EPO positive, by the way.


165km remaining from 183km

The six men up front now have a two-minute advantage over the Quick Step Floors- and BMC-led peloton.


We're 20km from the first sprint of the day in Kenilworth. Moses should be keen to get there and grab some points.


And on cue Moses drops back to his team car for a chat with JLT-Condor performance manager Kristian House. It sounded like they were discussing the intermediate sprints. I definitely heard the word 'sprint' mentioned, anyway.


150km remaining from 183km

Riding at the back of the peloton, Pascal Eenkhoorn (LottoNL-Jumbo) weaves around some cat's eyes (reflectors) in the middle of the road. If he's having to make his own entertainment already, then we've got bad news for the Dutchman as there are still 150km left to race.


145km remaining from 183km

We're 5km from the first intermediate sprint of the day now.


1km to go to the sprint in Kenilworth.


140km remaining from 183km

Holmes, Paton, Moses and McCormick battle it out for the points.


It looked a close-run thing between Holmes and Paton for first over the line. McCormick was third, while Moses missed out altogether.


133km remaining from 183km

Holmes won the intermediate sprint ahead of Paton and McCormick. 


22km to go until the next one.


Some news from Paris-Tours – the season-end race known as the sprinter's classic has a new finale, with new hills and 12.5km of dirt tracks through vineyards featuring in the final 65km.


Back in Britain and Iljo Keisse (Quick Step Floors) is on the front of the peloton once again, along with Robert Power (Mitchelton-Scott) and a cadre of BMC riders.


120km remaining from 183km

The gap to the peloton is still two minutes. It looks like the break is going to be kept on a tight leash all day today.


With an expected sprint finish today, let's take a look at some of the favourites...


The big three contenders are André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) and Fernandro Gaviria (Quick Step Floors), who filled out the podium on stage 1 in Newport.

Gaviria went long in that sprint, and will surely learn from his mistake this time around. The Colombian has been super strong since then, going on the attack several times during the hilly stages 2 and 3, including a dig on the first category climb in the finale of yesterday's Bristol stage.



Greipel meanwhile, took his seventh win of the season on stage, beating the man who is replacing him at Lotto-Soudal next year. It was a close-run thing but the German edged out Ewan to the line.


Ewan will be desperate for a win, having taken just two so far this year, the latest of which came all the way back at the Clásica de Almeríain February. He'll want to show that he can beat the man he's replacing.


Other men likely to be up there in the fight for the line include Brits Gabriel Cullaigh (Team Wiggins) and Ethan Hayter (Great Britain), Jürgen Roelandts (BMC), Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Sacha Modolo (EF-Drapac).


107km remaining from 183km

Holmes has just won the second intermediate sprint of the day, giving him 6 points. Moses took second ahead of McCormick.


The result puts both Moses and Holmes on 6 points, 3 behind classification leader Matthew Teggart. If Moses wins the last sprint Teggart will keep the jersey if he stays ahead of Moses on GC (they'd both have 3 intermediate sprint first places each). If Holmes wins the last sprint then he'd take the jersey as he's equal on first places but also has a second place to his name.


The next intermediate sprint comes with 23km to go though, so maybe the peloton will have already caught the break by then.


104km remaining from 183km

15km to go until the first climb of the day at Ilmington.


We're inside the final 100km of the stage now, with the gap still hovering at around 2 minutes.


92km remaining from 183km

Still BMC, Quick Step Floors and Mitchelton-Scott working at the head of the peloton.


91km remaining from 183km

The break reaches the first climb of the day in Ilmington. It's 2.1km at 5%, not a tough one, but Dlamini will be going for the maximum 8 points on this category two hill.



Holmes goes first, trying to take the break by surprise.


He manages to hold off Dlamini to the top. Moses takes third just behind. That's 8, 7 and 6 points for those three.


Dlamini now moves up to second overall in the KOM standings, with his 20 points being second behind teammate Davies.


The full KOM points from the first climb of the day:


1. Matthew Holmes (Madison-Genesis) 8pts

2. Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data) 7pts

3. Thomas Moses (JLT-Condor) 6pts

4. Paul Ourselin (Direct Énergie) 5pts

5. Alex Paton (Canyon-Eisberg) 4pts

6. Hayden McCormick (One Pro Cycling) 3pts

7. Jens Keukeleire (Lotto-Soudal) 2pts

8. Robert Power (Mitchelton-Scott) 1pt


78km remaining from 183km

There's an unclassified hill coming up soon, but nothing else of note until the next categorised climb of Edge Hill, which the break will arrive at in around 30km.


Keisse, Power, Keukeleire – it's the same names at the front of the peloton.


A look at the peloton riding up the first climb of the day.



64km remaining from 183km

As he was yesterday, the man in second overall Cameron Meyer is sat right towards the back of the peloton. His Mitchelton-Scott teammate Caleb Ewan is there with him.

The gap is coming down a bit now. Down to 1:45


50km remaining from 183km

We're inside the final 50km now. Well, the breakaway is, at least.


48km remaining from 183km

Here we go, the second classified climb of the day. Edge Hill is 800 metres at 9.9%. If Dlamini finishes top two here, he'll be in the KOM lead.



Dlamini, Ourselin and Holmes are leading the way. Holmes is going for it now.


47km remaining from 183km

Holmes takes it over the top – he's on 18 points now. We don't have any idea who came over the line in what order after the Madison-Genesis man though, because the tv camera focused on him for some time after he crested the summit.


40km remaining from 183km

Still no information on the last climb, but now the 1.7km, 4.9% average climb to Burton Dassett is almost upon us. It's the last classified climb on the day, and once again, 8 points are up for grabs.



Dlamini took second over Edge Hill. That's seven points for him, giving him 27 in total. He's now the virtual KOM leader by one point from Dimension Data teammate Scott Davies.


Paton and Moses have been dropped from the breakaway on the climb. The other four power onwards.


37km remaining from 183km

Holmes takes this one too. Dlamini, McCormick and Ourselin follow.


Holmes has taken first on every intermediate sprint and KOM so far. Just the single intermediate sprint left to go, in 13km.


Kom standings after the final climb of the day:


1. Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data) 34pts

2. Scott Davies (Dimension Data) 26pts

3. Matthew Holmes (Madison-Genesis) 24pts


35km remaining from 183km

Dlamini drops back from the break, his job done for the day. Moses and Paton made it back up, however, so now the lead group consists of five riders.


Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) is out the back of the peloton, and the pace has gone up as a result.


Bahrain-Merida have responded to the news of Siutsou's positive test. Here's our updated story.


Siutsou tests positive for EPO in out-of-competition test.


30km remaining from 183km

Ewan soon got back to the peloton though, shepherded by several teammates.

5km until the final intermediate sprint of the day now. Can Moses win that one too?


23km remaining from 183km

Holmes took the sprint, way ahead of his breakmates. Six out of six today for the Madison-Genesis rider.


Holmes will be in red tonight.


20km remaining from 183km

The gap edges under a minute for the first time.


There are a few lumps left on the run-in, but nothing to trouble the sprinters.


16km remaining from 183km

Iljo Keisse is leading the lined-out peloton, now just 45 seconds behind the break.


We're getting closer and closer to the sprint finish now. It's a simple run-in to Leamington Spa – a straight road for the last 3km. The main obstacle is a left-hand 90-degree turn with around 400 metres to run, which could be decisive in deciding today's winner.


14km remaining from 183km

Hayden McCormick goes on the attack in the break. Moses is the first to drop, understandable given his efforts today.


13km remaining from 183km

 EF-Drapac represented at the front now.

Keisse is still there too.


11km remaining from 183km

The gap between break and peloton is under 30 seconds now.


10km remaining from 183km

Ourselin now tries an attack. He's been pretty quiet today.


9km remaining from 183km

Paton is swept up by the peloton. Just three men up front now. 25-second gap.


8km remaining from 183km

Keisse is still on the front of the peloton. A number of BMC and Lotto-Soudal riders behind the Quick Step Floors man,


7km remaining from 183km

The gap is down to 20 seconds now, and the peloton can see the break on this long, straight road.


5km remaining from 183km

Keisse swings off the front of the peloton and Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) takes it up. It's almost over for the break.


4km remaining from 183km

Ourselin tries one last attack. McCormick follows.


3km remaining from 183km

It's over for the break now. Dimension Data and Katusha-Alpecin are on the front of the peloton.


3km remaining from 183km

BMC and Sky are also towards the front. Julian Alaphilippe is positioned on race leader Patrick Bevin's wheel.


2km remaining from 183km

Sky now lead the peloton. It's a bit of a mess with a lot of teams represented near the front. Greipel moves up too.


2km remaining from 183km

Sky now lead the peloton. It's a bit of a mess with a lot of teams represented near the front. Greipel moves up too.


1km remaining from 183km

EF-Drapac are riding for Modolo now. Mitchelton-Scott finally come into sight too.


1km remaining from 183km

Into the final kilometre and Quick Step have put Bob Jungels up front. Positioning into that final turn will be crucial.


EF-Drapac lead it through the final bend.


Bevin hits the front. Greipel on his wheel.


Greipel goes around Bevin with 200 metres to go. Sacha Modolo is on his wheel but can't come past.


André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) wins stage 4 of the Tour of Britain!


It looks like Modolo took second and Bevin, who led around the final corner and sprinted for 300 metres, was third.


Bevin took a huge advantage onto the final straight after leading around the bend, enough that only Greipel and Modolo could pass him.


Gaviria and Ewan were nowhere to be seen.


Stage 4 result:

1. André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) 4:22:04

2. Sacha Modolo (EF-Drapac)

3. Patrick Bevin (BMC)

4. Rick Zabel (Katusha-Alpecin)

5. Carlos Barbero (Movistar)

6. Emīls Liepiņš (One Pro Cycling)

7. Romain Cardis (Direct Énergie)

8. Dan McLay (EF-Drapac)

9. Tennant (Canyon-Eisberg)

10. Gabriel Cullaigh (Team Wiggins)


And the general classification after stage 4:


1. Patrick Bevin (BMC) 15:25:11

2. Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott) +00:04

3. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) +00:06

4. Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) +00:16

5. Wout Poels (Team Sky)

6. Chris Hamilton (Team Sunweb)

7. Bob Jungels (Quick Step Floors)

8. Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo)

9. Hugh Carthy (EF-Drapac) +00:23

10. Scott Davies (Dimension Data) +00:26


Stage winner André Greipel's post-stage interview:


Certainly it was important to have a good position there [in the final corner]. The other guys made a really great job to keep me up there – it was really messy. Jasper [De Buyst] did a good job for me – he was strong.


And here's what race leader Patrick Bevin had to say:


Yeah it was the plan to be first [into the last corner]. If you're going to lead-out, you're not going to win but you might get a podium and some more time. With 400m to go I had Jempy drop me off and then I came up the inside of the corner.


So Bevin remains in the green leader's jersey today, extending his race lead. The BMC man also gets the blue points jersey. The efforts of the break today see two other jerseys change hands as Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data) takes the black KOM jersey tomorrow, while Matthew Holmes (Madison-Genesis) takes the red sprints jersey.


Tomorrow's stage is a bit different – a 14km team time trial from Cockermouth to the Whinlatter Pass. As you may have deduced, there's an uphill finish, with a 6km drag to the line averaging about 4%.


Despite its short length, the stage is set to shake up the general classification, with BMC and Quick Step Floors certainly among the favourites for the win.



And that's just about it from me for today. See you tomorrow for stage 5 and the team time trial!


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