Tour of Britain: Gaviria wins stage four as Viviani reclaims green jersey

Tour of Britain: Gaviria wins stage four as Viviani reclaims green jersey

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Quickstep’s Fernando Gaviria won a photo sprint finish on stage four of the 2017 OVO Energy Tour of Britain in Newark-on-Trent.

The Colombian pipped Elia Viviani to the stage win on the line - but the Italian will still have cause to celebrate having taken the overall lead in the race.

Viviani’s second place sees him on exactly the same time as previous general classification leader Caleb Ewan - but the Team Sky rider will wear the green jersey on Thursday as a result of his higher finish in the East Midlands.

Much of the stage, which ran from Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent, had been dominated by a breakaway of five riders.

Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Jacob Scott (An Post Chain Reaction), Alexandre Blain and Richard Handley (Madison Genesis) and Alistair Slater (JLT Condor) had a lead of over four minutes at one point before being caught by the peloton with just a few kilometres remaining.

That set things up for a fourth consecutive sprint finish - and the huge crowds were treated to another thriller with four riders crossing the line virtually simultaneously.

Alexandre Blaine leads the breakaway on stage four of the 2017 OVO Energy Tour of Britain

But it was Gaviria who had the edge, timing his run to perfection to get the win ahead of Viviani, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha Alpecin) and Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto NL Jumbo).

The Colombian paid tribute to his teammates.

“I’ve been coming back from an injury on my left leg, missing condition and form, but every day I’ve been getting a little better, the team helped me 100% today so I could win.

“It is very important to have a strong team. We are strong, they helped me in the final kilometres. The most important thing is to have a strong team, without a strong team, you don’t win.”

As well as taking the green jersey, Elia Viviani now leads the points competition.

Meanwhile, the breakaway riders’ efforts have not gone unrewarded. Mark McNally has closed the gap on Graham Briggs in the race for the sprint jersey, while Jacob Scott is the new king of the mountains leader.

Richard Handley has also now taken the lead in the Best British rider race.

The action continues on Thursday with stage five, a 16km individual time trial in Clacton.