Tour of Britain 2016: Dylan Groenewegen outsprints Dan McLay

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Tour of Britain 2016: Dylan Groenewegen outsprints Dan McLay to win stage four

Dutch champion wins in Builth Wells as Ben Swift moves up to third overall

Dutch champion Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) won stage four of the 2016 Tour of Britain in Builth Wells, narrowly beating Great Britain’s Dan McLay in a sprint finish at the Royal Welsh Showground.

Groenewegen, who was also a stage winner on British shores at this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, finished off a great lead-out to outsprint McLay in a thrilling sprint.

– Pro bike: Dylan Groenewegen’s stage-winning custom Bianchi Oltre XR4 –

McLay looked like he might edge out the Dutchman, but ultimately – devoid of a lead-out – had too much to do, instead taking second ahead of Team Sky’s Ben Swift.

Swift’s result, coupled with further bonus seconds picked up in Mold as the race left North Wales, moves him up to third overall as Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) once again defended the yellow jersey.

Dylan Groenewegen won stage four of the Tour of Britain ahead of Dan McLay (pic: Sirotti)

It took some time for a break to stick after the race departed Denbigh, meaning the first sprint and climb were well contested.

Team Sky’s fourth-placed Ben Swift grabbed a bonus second at the first sprint in Mold, but Lotto-Soudal’s Tony Gallopin leapfrogged him overall by claiming two seconds.

Swift’s team-mate Nicolas Roche then claimed maximum KOM points at Rhydtalog and with Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) second on the climb, it leaves the two locked level on points in the mountains classification – though the Belgian will retain the jersey for now.

Finally, a four-man move was given licence to go clear, with British duo Matt Holmes (Madison-Genesis) and Rob Partridge (NFTO) joined by Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF) and Miguel Angel Benito (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).

They held an advantage consistently around the four-minute mark for much of the first half of the race, and it slowly edged closer to the five-minute mark which, for a time, meant Benito was the virtual race leader.

The peloton responded well, however, and as the advantage tumbled Tonelli decided to go it alone – with Ian Stannard, solo winner on stage three, among those driving the peloton to bring him back.

Counter-attacks followed from the bunch, however, with the three other escapees still between Tonelli and the peloton too – Movistar duo Gorka Izaguirre and Giovanni Visconti, Marco Marcato (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Joachem Hoekstra (Giant-Alpecin) attempting to bridge across.

Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF) also bridged across to the four chasers as they closed in on Holmes, Partridge and Benito with the peloton still in hot pursuit.

The gap closed, however, and the race back came together with 40km still to race – prompting Johnny McEvoy (NFTO) to go solo off the front.

His attack, too, was short-lived and the pace set by Wout Poels (Team Sky) and Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac) caused problems at the back of the bunch too.

Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) was among the sprinters to suffer, while Stannard paid for his efforts of the previous day and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) clung to the tails of the peloton with the help of team-mate Bernie Eisel before the Manxman also succumbed.

Team-mate Steve Cummings was also nearly caught out, but stuck with the back of the main bunch as attacks continued to come thick and fast off the front.

Sebastian Langeveld (Cannondale-Drapac) was another to enjoy a small advantage before Poels and the Etixx-QuickStep duo of Tony and Dan Martin reeled him back in.

Roche tried to inject some pace into the peloton, but with the bunch seemingly settled on a sprint finish, both Lotto-Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo drove the tempo for Greipel and Groenewegen respectively.

Greipel had all five of his team-mates for company at the front of the peloton, martialling the race and ensuring no more attacks as the Builth Wells finale approached.

Julien Vermote finished fifth and remains overall leader (pic: Sweetspot)

With Cavendish’s group still stuck trying to chase back on further back, it was seemingly set up for Greipel and Groenewegen but control was wrested away again.

Gallopin took another three seconds at the final intermediate sprint, temporarily moving up to third overall as a result, but Lotto-Soudal lost control on the front.

Eisel resolved to make a nuisance of himself, while Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) briefly earned a gap as the flurry of attacks continued.

The two lottery-backed teams returned to the front of the race but there were several teams in contention as they passed under the flamme rouge.

Groenewegen was led out perfectly, however, while Greipel was nowhere to be seen as they rounded the final bend in the Royal Welsh Showground.

McLay came off Swift’s wheel and chased hard but ultimately had too big a gap to close, as Groenewegen timed his sprint to the line perfectly to claim victory.

Vermote finished fifth, meanwhile, leaving him six seconds clear of Steve Cummings overall ahead of stage five.

Tour of Britain 2016: stage four – result

1) Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – Team LottoNL-Jumbo – 5.28.49hrs
2) Dan McLay (GBR) – Great Britain – ST
3) Ben Swift (GBR) – Team Sky
4) Carlos Barbero (ESP) – Caja Rural
5) Julien Vermote (BEL) – Etixx-QuickStep
6) Boy van Poppel (NED) – Trek-Segafredo
7) Luka Mezgec (SVN) – Orica-BikeExchange
8) Nicolas Vereecken (BEL) – An Post-Chain Reaction
9) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Alpecin
10) Diego Rubio (ESP) – Caja Rural

General classification

1) Julien Vermote (BEL) – Etixx-QuickStep – 18.22.04hrs
2) Steve Cummings (GBR) – Dimension Data +6”
3) Ben Swift (GBR) – Team Sky +1.03
4) Tony Gallopin (FRA) – Lotto-Soudal – ST
5) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Etixx-QuickStep +1.04
6) Xandro Meurisse (BEL) – Wanty-Groupe Gobert +1.08
7) Dylan van Baarle (NED) – Cannondale-Drapac +1.12
8) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Alpecin – ST
9) Guillaume Martin (FRA) – Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – Team Sky +1.16

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