Movistar Team’s Gonzalo Serrano moved in to the AJ Bell Tour of Britain race lead after winning a dramatic fourth stage between Redcar and Duncombe Park, Helmsley, on Wednesday.
Serrano pipped home favourite Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers), Dylan Teuns (Israel – Premier Tech) and a second INEOS rider – Spaniard Omar Fraile – to the victory after the quartet broke clear over the climb of Newgate Bank with 8.4 kilometres remaining.
In addition to becoming the first Spaniard to win a stage of the UK’s leading cycle race in 10 years, Serrano moved into the AJ Bell leader’s jersey, with both Pidcock and Fraile trailing by seven seconds.
“Today was a crazy day,” said Serrano after the stage. “Very, very aggressive but my team was with me for company, it was a difficult day, but they worked strongly to close down the breakaway in the last kilometers. Pidcock and Fraile are very strong, and in Britain, this race is very important for INEOS but I attacked in the last climb, and in the sprint I thought I can win.”
Serrano’s win is his seventh top ten finish from the past eleven AJ Bell Tour of Britain stages with the 28-year-old from Madrid having never finished worse than 21st in his two participations in the race.
The Movistar team had worked hard with all their five remaining riders on the front of the diminished peloton after the action had burst into life on the ŠKODA King of the Mountains climb of Carlton Bank.
Fraile set the initial pace, setting up Pidcock’s attack with Oscar Onley (Team DSM) and Teuns following, with Italian champion Filippo Zana (Bardiani CSF Faizanè) and Michael Woods (Israel – Premier Tech) following. A second surge towards the top of the fan-lined climb took Pidcock, Onley, and Teuns clear with the trio building a lead of 45 seconds.
Movistar, TRINITY Racing, and Great Britain’s Jake Stewart then drove the bunch hard along Bilsdale towards the final uncategorized climb of Newgate Bank, making the junction on the lower slopes with Serrano then able to jump clear to claim the bonus seconds at the Sportsbreaks.com sprint at the summit.
Pidcock fought hard to take his wheel with Teuns and then Fraile following to make up the quartet that would contest the finish in the setting of Duncombe Park. Turning into the grounds of the park it was Fraile who picked up the pack on the drag up to the line with Serrano again able to hold off the charging Pidcock.
Speaking after moving into second position overall, Pidcock said; “We tried several times and with being the home team there is a bit of pressure and expectation for us to make the race. Which makes it all that much that harder to win, but I think we did pretty well. It was a bit disappointing but yeah what can I say.”
Overnight leader Ben Perry (Wiv SunGod) drops to fourth overall on the same time as Pidcock and Fraile, with Israel – Premier Tech duo Teuns and Corbin Strong sitting next at ten and fourteen seconds in arrears.
As well as losing the red AJ Bell leader’s jersey, Wiv SunGod’s Jacob Scott also shed the ŠKODA King of the Mountains jersey to Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB rider Mathijs Paasschens. The team keep hold of the Sportsbreaks.com Sprints jersey while INEOS Grenadiers rider Magnus Sheffield won the stage four Adyen Combativity Award after an early breakaway with Saint Piran’s Harry Birchill as the race passed along the Yorkshire coast.
For full results and standings brought to you by Brother UK, please click here.
Highlights of stage four are on ITV4 at 20:00 on Wednesday 7 September and available on demand for 30 days via the ITV Hub.
Stage five on Thursday 8 September takes place in Nottinghamshire, which at 186.8 kilometres (116.2 miles) is the longest stage of the 2022 AJ Bell Tour of Britain. Starting from West Bridgford the stage will finish on Chesterfield Road South in Mansfield mid-afternoon. Live coverage of the stage begins on ITV4 at 10:30.