Another Day for the Sprinters After Crash-Marred Stage 4 in Britain6. September 2017, Newark-on-Trent (GBR) — Road Team
Today marked the halfway point of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, and once again the sprinters were in the spotlight after a crash-marred stage saw four BMC Racing Team riders involved in a pile up inside 50km to go.
It was an explosive start to the day with a battle to make the breakaway brewing as the riders rolled through the neutral zone before, immediately after the flag was dropped, the attacks began to fly off the front of the peloton.
With several early attempts being pulled back, it took almost 20km, of the 164.7km course, for the peloton to sit up and allow five riders to go clear at the front of the race and begin to build up an advantage over the rolling roads that made up the first half of the stage.
As the gap tipped over the four -minute mark, the peloton began to regain control of proceedings with the race leader at the start of the day, Caleb Ewan’s ORICA-Scott setting the pace and bringing the gap to a comfortable 3’30” before with inside 65km to go, and increase in pace saw it fall to under three minutes.
The gap continued to fall steadily with the sprinter’s teams once again taking responsibility at the front of the bunch but, with around 20km to go, the leaders were still holding onto an advantage of over two minutes. A determined final chase quickly began and eventually, the race was brought back together with just 3km to go.
In the end, it was Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) who emerged victorious on stage 4 after a hectic final sprint saw him take the win ahead of Elia Viviani (Team Sky), who regained the leader’s green jersey, and Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha Alpecin).
Brent Bookwalter, Silvan Dillier, Ben Hermans and Joey Rosskopf were caught up in a crash with a parked car on a corner inside 50km to go. Dillier, who now sits seventh on the General Classification, Hermans, and Rosskopf were able to continue racing and finished the stage but, unfortunately, Bookwalter was taken to hospital for further examination.
An update will be provided by BMC Racing Team doctor, Dr. Scott Major when available.
Inside the Race Car with Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“It was a stressful day because there was a lot of wind and 15km after the point where the crash happened, there was an important point, and we were ready and up at the front of the bunch waiting for that. But then, unfortunately, we came out of the corner, and there was a car parked in the wrong position, and some guys crashed. We had four guys involved: Brent Bookwalter, Silvan Dillier, Ben Hermans and Joey Rosskopf. Brent came out of it worst and was taken to the hospital, but for now, it looks okay. The rest of the guys were able to get back on the bike and did a good job to bring Silvan back to the bunch in particular.”
“We will now look ahead to the time trial, and everyone is motivated. We have a good group of riders able to do a good job tomorrow. Overall, this parcours is not really on our side but we were ready to do something today, and it is just a shame about the crash.”
OVO Energy Tour of Britain
Stage 4: Mansfield > Newark-on-Trent, 164.7km
Top 3: 1. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 2. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) 3. Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha Alpecin)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 14. Floris Gerts 21. Stefan Küng 43. Silvan Dillier