Mathieu van der Poel wins stage and tops GC in Tour of Britain
Sep 11 2019 03:08 am CET

Mathieu van der Poel wins stage and tops GC in Tour of Britain
Mathieu van der Poel wins stage and tops GC in Tour of Britain
Photo of Mathieu van der Poel (c)

Corendon-Circus' Mathieu van der Poel has taken the victory of the fourth stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and climbed to the top of the General Classification of the race.

The 172.2-kilometre stage took place over a route that joined Gateshead and Kendal. The day started with a strong attack of Eddie Dunbar and Dylan van Baarle (Ineos) but they were eventually reeled back in before another breakaway formed by Tiesj Benoot, James Shaw, Ben Hermans and Tony Gallopin.

The climbs of the day managed to slim down the peloton, which eventually caught the escapees, and Van der Poel attacked in the last metres of the stage and took the day's victory, beating Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) and Simon Clarke (EF Education First). The Dutch rider also took the lead of the overall classification.

"I knew that the finish suited me really well if I had good legs," said the Dutchman. "I was confident to do a good finish here I think the team did a great job. This climb is perfect for me. I really like those finish straights and it’s something I’m good at especially after a hard stage like today.

"Attacking early was a bit of a gamble because I didn’t really know where the finish line was. I got a bit bumped in yesterday at the finish and I didn’t want it to happen again today, so I just went full gas with 300 metres to go. It was actually a bit far but I immediately had a gap. With 100 metres to go the road got a bit easier so it was big enough to keep that gap until the finish line."

Van der Poel is already thinking about the things that can be done for him to take the overall win of the race on the last day. "It’s going to be a battle for sure but I think the time trial [on stage six] will be decisive and it’s been a long, long time since I’ve done one," he explained. "I don’t know where I stand in that discipline right now so it’s going to be really hard to be in touch with the best time trial guys here."



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