Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) won stage four of the 2016 Tour of Britain in Builth Wells on Wednesday, pipping Dan McLay (Great Britain) to the line.
Ben Swift (Team Sky) placed third on the race’s longest stage behind Dutch champion Groenewegen and McLay. It’s Groenewegen’s second victory on British soil this year, after he won stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire in April.
Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) finished fifth to safely retain the overall race lead ahead of Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) at six seconds. Swift’s bonus seconds for third see him move up to third overall at 1-03.
After a fast start from Denbigh, a break of four riders eventually formed: Miguel Ángel Benito (Caja Rural), Matt Holmes (Madison-Genesis), Rob Partridge (NFTO) and Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani).
Cannondale-Drapac and Sky led the pace of the peloton in pursuit, chipping away at the break’s gap. With 56km to go, Tonelli attacked the escape group in one last effort, but was caught 10km later.
After the peloton came back together, several unsuccessful attempts were made by various riders to form a new escape. All were chased down.
Several sprinters got into trouble on an unclassified climb with 30km to go, with Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) both distanced from the back of the bunch.
Lotto-Soudal hit the front of the peloton in the final 15km to try and set up stage one winner André Greipel. The Belgian team maintained the high pace making it harder for the dropped riders to regain contact.
Despite their work, Greipel seemed to get caught out by the tight bends leading into the finish straight as LottoNL-Jumbo hit the front, and came home outside the top 10.
LottoNL-Jumbo, however, put their rider in the perfect position for the victory, and as Groenewegen opened up his sprint early with McLay on his wheel, the Brit could simply not come past him.
The 2016 Tour of Britain continues on Thursday with stage five, from Aberdare to Bath over 205km in a day that is billed as one for the sprinters. The race concludes in London on Sunday, September 11.
Tour of Britain 2016, stage four: Denbigh to Builth Wells, 217km
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo in 5-28-49
2. Daniel McLay (GBr) Great Britain
3. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
4. Carlos Barbero (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
5. Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep
6. Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7. Luke Mezgec (Slo) Orica-BikeExchange
8. Nicolas Vreecken (Bel) An Post-Chain Reaction
9. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin
10. Diego Rubio (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA all at same time
General classification after stage four
1. Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep in 18-22-04
2. Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data at 6 secs
3. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky at 1-03
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal at 1-03
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx-QuickStep at 1-04
6. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 1-08
7. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac at 1-12
8. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1-12
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 1-12
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky at 1-16