Olav Kooij equalled Edvald Boasson Hagen’s record of four-consecutive Tour of Britain stage victories after winning stage four of the 2023 race in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, on Wednesday.
The Dutchman once again benefited from a brilliant lead-out from his Jumbo – Visma team-mate Wout van Aert after the likes of TRINITY Racing, BORA – hansgrohe, and INEOS Grenadiers attempted to form their own trains approaching the historic town’s finish line.
Casper van Uden (Team dsm – firmenich) placed second, with Ethan Vernon (Great Britain) continuing his consistent week by placing third.
Unsurprisingly, Kooij continues to lead the race’s general classification and tops the standings in the cottages.com points and Sportive Breaks best young rider competitions.
A bunch sprint was always on the cards after two TDT – Unibet Cycling Team riders – Brit Harry Tanfield and Belgian Abram Stockman – were caught 27.5 kilometres outside of Newark-on-Trent.
Kooij said; “We’re just going day by day and it’s been amazing so far. The hat trick was already special and now four out of four is amazing.” He continues “I’m really happy with what we’ve done so far and I hope to keep it going.”
Jumbo – Visma started to lose position at the three-kilometre mark but he always trusted his team to get him back into perfect position. “The guys in front of me are strong enough to move through the wind and move up if it’s necessary. It’s never really smooth to get through the last few hundred metres, so sometimes you need to stay calm and know when it’s your time to move up. If we stay together, it’s a big advantage”
Stockman (TDT – Unibet) and Pinarello King of the Mountains leader James Fouche (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) attacked from the official start with Stockman’s teammate Harry Tanfield joining the duo one-kilometre later.
Tanfield and Fouche make this day number three in the break so far after spending most of stage one and three out the front together, and TDT – Unibet keeping up their appearances of being in a breakaway of every stage of this year’s Tour of Britain
As expected Fouche took maximum points at the first classified climb on Kilton Hill. Shortly after Tanfield rolled through to victory at the cottages.com intermediate sprint in Broughton.
Fouche extended his lead in the Pinarello King of the Mountains classification by being the summit of the second classified climb at Red Hill Lane. The Kiwi decided his race was over after collecting his points, sat up and retreated back to the peloton, leaving the duo of TDT – Unibet riders ahead with 80-kilometres left.
The duo kept the gap between themselves and the peloton at around the minute mark until the break was eventually caught at the 27km mark, when Dimitri Peyskens (Bingoal WB) and Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo – Visma) attacked from the peloton to end the duo’s hopes.
TRINITY and INEOS Grenadiers were the biggest antagonists of the bunch, pushing the pace in the peloton, but it was Jumbo – Visma once again who took control into the final right-hand corner with a perfectly drilled lead out.
Super domestique turned super lead out man Wout Van Aert led out his sprinter from 700 metres to go, the Belgian peeled away at 150 metres to go with his sprinter in perfect position to power to victory and make it four from four.
Stage five of the Tour of Britain sees the race return to Suffolk for the first time since 2017. Felixstowe will host both the start and finish of the longest stage of the 2023 Tour at 192 kilometres. The stage begins at 10:45.