Bevin Extends Race Lead in Britain Ahead of Stage 5 Team Time Trial5. September 2018, Royal Leamington Spa (GBR) — Road Team
Patrick Bevin sprinted to his third consecutive podium result on stage four of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, crossing the line in third place to earn a four-second time bonus.
Bevin, who was third on stage two and second on stage three, navigated the chaotic final thanks to the strong teamwork from his five teammates which set the New Zealander up for the sprint finish.
As soon as the flag dropped to signal the beginning of the 183km stage four, five riders formed the day’s breakaway and established a two-minute advantage over the peloton.
With a potential sprint finish on offer, BMC Racing Team had help from the sprinters’ teams at the front of the bunch which saw the breakaway’ advantage barely exceed the two-minute mark throughout the stage.
The three categorised climbs had little effect on the race situation, with the breakaway claiming the King of the Mountain and sprint points, and eventually the breakaway’s advantage was reduced to one-minute with 30 kilometers remaining.
Attacks from the breakaway saw their advantage go back out slightly but with ten kilometers to go, the three remaining riders were just 25 seconds in front.
Bevin was well-positioned as the action started to heat up, surrounded by his BMC Racing Team teammates, in the first 15 places in the peloton, which was just ten seconds behind the breakaway under the banner that marked five kilometers to go.
The catch was made with three kilometers remaining, and the battle for position at the front of the bunch was on.
Stefan Küng ensured Bevin was not swallowed up by the other sprint trains and under the flamme rouge, Jempy Drucker took over to deliver Bevin to the perfect spot as they approached the final corner that would lead into the finish straight.
Bevin took the corner on the inside and was the first rider to come out of it and launch his sprint with 300 meters to go. Andre Greiepl (Lotto Soudal) was the fastest on the day but only he and Sacha Modolo (EF Education First - Drapac) had the legs to overtake Bevin, who crossed the line in third place.
Bevin leads the race by four seconds going into the stage 5 team time trial, a tough 14km course with an uphill finish.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“It was the plan to be up there on the last turn into the finish straight. I was thinking if you are going to lead out into that last corner with 350 meters to go, you’re not going to win but you may run a podium and get some more time. When it got messy in that last kilometer, Jempy Drucker dropped me in there with about 400 meters to go and I just came up on the inside of the corner and thought it was no good to be near the front, better to be on the front and just go. I was out there a long time and ran out of legs but it was a nice little result at the end of the day.”
“Tomorrow’s team time trial will be a very different day. It’s actually what we came here to target so up until now, it has all been a bit of a bonus. It’s a hard one to read. If any team has a bad day they will lose lots of time and that’s the overall over. We are going to turn up and do what we do at every team time trial and we’ll see how it all shakes out at the end of the day.”
Valerio Piva, Sports Director:
“The guys did a great job today to keep Paddy in a good position. Now, we look to the team time trial tomorrow and I think we have a chance for a good result. With only six riders starting, the time is taken on the fourth rider to cross the line. All six of our riders are in good shape and we have very strong time trialists in the group. The uphill finish will definitely make it hard. Then, stage six is the hardest day so we will see how things are going for the General Classification.”
OVO Energy Tour of Britain
Stage 4 Nuneaton > Royal Leamington Spa (183km)
Top 3: 1. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), 2.Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac), 3. Patrick Bevin (BMC Racing Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 3. Patrick Bevin, 20. Jürgen Roelandts, 34. Jempy Drucker