Etixx-QuickStep’s stagiaire Fernando Gaviria made it two wins from four stages for the Belgian team, showing a great sense of timing to overhaul stage favourite André Greipel on a damp day in Blyth.
It was the Colombian’s fifth win of the season, the third since joining Etixx-QuickStep. Another two came at January’s Tour de San Luis, beating the man who helped him win today, Mark Cavendish.
“Cav put me into position ahead of him,” he said. “And when the sprint began I simply went for it and gave everything I had to win.”
The manner of Gaviria’s victory was impressive, as he came from a long way back in the sprint. Team Sky and Lotto-Soudal had done the lion’s share of the work in the final ten kilometres, with Etixx-QuickStep less prominent on the run-in as they had had Matteo Trentin in the main break of the day.
Four-time Tour de France stage winner André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) was the first to hit the front, and it looked as though Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) would be his only competition.
Gaviria had other ideas though, and hopped into Boasson Hagen’s slipstream before speeding past on the outside to ease to victory.
After the stage, Etixx-QuickStep DS Brian Holm had high praise for his team’s new sprint star. “In the Czech Tour he was great. He was like Cav eight years ago,” he said. “He also has a twist of Sagan inside him. He’s fast, fearless and can climb a bit too.”
|1||Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Etixx – Quick Step||5:13:08|
|2||André Greipel (Ger) Lotto – Soudal|
|3||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka|
|4||Owain Doull (GBr) Team WIGGINS|
|5||Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto – Soudal|
|6||Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling|
|7||Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky|
|8||Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN – Qhubeka|
|9||Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team|
|10||Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor|
|1||Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Esp) Movistar Team||18:50:12|
|2||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka||0:00:06|
|3||Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team||0:00:12|
|4||Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky||0:00:13|
|5||Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Cannondale – Garmin|
|1||Thomas Stewart (GBr) Madison Genesis||25||pts|
|2||Ian Bibby (GBr) NFTO||23|
|3||Kristian House (GBr) JLT Condor||20|
|1||Owain Doull (GBr) Team WIGGINS||44||pts|
|2||Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Esp) Movistar Team||40|
|3||Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky||39|
|1||Peter Williams (GBr) One Pro Cycling||9||pts|
|2||Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto – Soudal||8|
|3||Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) An Post – Chainreaction||8|