Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) outsprinted Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) to win stage four of the Tour of Britain in Blyth.
Greipel led the sprint out as Lotto-Soudal took charge of the finale, but it was the young Colombian – entrusted with sprinting duties ahead of Mark Cavendish – who powered past on the opposite side of the road to the delight of his Manx team-mate.
Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) finished third after a fast lead-out from Gerald Ciolek, but with Movistar’s race leader Juan Jose Lobato safely in the bunch the Norwegian champion remains second overall.
The day’s break, when it went, was a dangerous one with both Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep) and Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing) handily placed overall.
Alan Marangoni (Cannondale-Garmin), Michael Svendgaard (Cult Energy), Rob Partridge (NFTO) and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (MTN-Qhubeka) completed the move and the gap caused Movistar plenty of headache.
Alex Dowsett (Movistar) put a big shift in on the rugged border roads and into Northumberland but the gap still stood at more than four minutes as they passed through Alnwick.
The Spanish team knocked the pace off, prompting Team Sky and Lotto-Soudal – both hunting the stage win – to come forward instead and that tactic paid off as Ian Stannard’s work started to reel the break in.
Only Marangoni, Trentin and Wyss remained as Sky worked well to bring the gap right down, and with 18km still remaining the race came back together.
Though Sky martialled proceedings for the next ten kilometres, Martin Mortensen (Cult Energy) and Stefan Kueng (BMC Racing) reignited the race with a short-lived attack.
Sir Bradley Wiggins, with Team WIGGINS’ team-mate Owain Doull protected, shut the move down and hit the front for a big turn.
Andy Tennant took over, with Team Sky’s British champion Peter Kennaugh also up at the front – the latter setting a testing pace in windy conditions.
Lotto-Soudal took charge inside the final two kilometres, however, leading the peloton under the flamme rouge with their entire sprint train together.
Greipel burst of Marcel Sieberg’s wheel to lead the sprint out, while Boasson Hagen also powered through but Gaviria was on the Norwegian’s wheel and when he kicked could not be stopped.
Team-mate Cavendish was further back in the group, and both raised their arms as Etixx-QuickStep’s bright sprinting hope for the future proved his credentials in style.
Tour of Britain 2015: stage four – result
1) Fernando Gaviria (COL) – Etixx-QuickStep – 5.13.08hrs
2) Andre Greipel (GER) – Lotto-Soudal – ST
3) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) – MTN-Qhubeka
4) Owain Doull (GBR) – Team WIGGINS
5) Jens Debusschere (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal
6) Jonas Vangenechten (BEL) – IAM Cycling
7) Elia Viviani (ITA) – Team Sky
8) Gerald Ciolek (GER) – MTN-Qhubeka
9) Floris Gerts (NED) – BMC Racing
10) Graham Briggs (GBR) – Condor-JLT
1) Juan Jose Lobato (ESP) – Movistar – 18.50.12hrs
2) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) – MTN-Qhubeka +6”
3) Floris Gerts (NED) – BMC Racing +12”
4) Wout Poels (NED) – Team Sky +13”
5) Dylan van Baarle (NED) – Cannondale-Garmin – ST
6) Owain Doull (GBR) – Team WIGGINS +14”
7) Graham Briggs (GBR) – JLT-Condor – ST
8) Rasmus Guldhammer (DEN) – Cult Energy
9) Matteo Trentin (ITA) – Etixx-QuickStep
10) Serge Pauwels (BEL) – MTN-Qhubeka +15”