Etixx - Quick-Step stagiaire took the win ahead of seasoned sprinters André Greipel and Edvald Boasson Hagen on the finish into Blyth
Etixx – Quick-Step stagiaire Fernando Gaviria took his first win for the Belgian team on stage four of the Tour of Britain, as he impressively sprinted ahead of in-form André Griepel (Lotto-Soudal) and Tour de France stage winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka).
Not only did the Colombian beat the two sprint veterans, he came from behind as Gerald Ciolek set a blistering pace for his teammate Boasson Hagen and Greipel began to wind things up after his teammate Jens Debusschere lost the wheel.
Team Sky had been the most active on the front of the bunch as the peloton rolled into Blyth, with British champion Peter Kennaugh putting in a huge turn on the front that saw the peloton stretched out in single file as he tried to set things up for stage three winner Elia Viviani.
Lotto-Soudal then moved into action, looking as though they were trying to give Debusschere a second shot at a stage win after coming up short on Tuesday, but it was Greipel who sprung into action as he found himself dropped near the front in the final straight.
Watch: Why pro riders love the Tour of Britain
But no-one could match the pace of the 21-year-old Gaviria, who didn’t seem to benefit from a textbook leadout with his teammate Mark Cavendish seemingly boxed in by other riders further back in the main bunch.
It’s Gaviria’s first win at this level in his trainee season before he become a fully fledged professional with Etixx in 2016.
Earlier in the day a six-man break had got away, with Alan Marangoni (Cannondale-Garmin), Matteo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step), Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing), Michael Svendgaard (Cult Energy), Rob Partridge (NTFO Pro Cycling) and Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (MTN-Qhubeka) building a maximum gap of around four minutes on the 217.4km course from Edinburgh.
Trentin, Wyss and Marangoni went clear from their breakaway companions with 40km remaining, but as they entered the final 20km with 38 seconds in hand, it became clear they wouldn’t hold the chasing bunch off to the finish and the catch was finally made with 16.3km to go.
It then came down to a third sprint in four stages at this edition of the Tour of Britain as Juan José Lobato (Movistar) held onto his overall lead, but it certainly won’t on Thursday’s stage five as the peloton take on a 166.4km course from Prudhoe that finishes on the summit of Hartside Fell.
Tour of Britain 2015, stage four: Edinburgh to Blyth (217.6km)
1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step, in 5-13-08
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka
4. Owain Doull (GBr) Team Wiggins
5. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
6. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
7. Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
8. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
9. Gloris Gerta (Ned) BMC
10. Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT-Condor, all same time
Overall classification after stage four
1. Juan José Lobato (Esp) Movistar, in 15-37-04
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka, at 06 secs
3. Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC, at 12 secs
4. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, at 13 secs
5. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin, st
6. Owain Doull (GBr) Team Wiggins, at 14 secs
7. Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT-Condor, st
8. Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Cult Energy, st
9. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step, st
10. Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN-Qhubeka, at 20 seconds