Stage 4 of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain took the riders on a fairly flat 164km route between Mansfield and Newark-on-Trent. Heading south in the early kilometres the race looped round to go directly North through Worksop, before once again heading south into Nottinghamshire to finish in the town centre of Newark-On-Trent.
After a 16km long neutral section the flag dropped and immediately attacks unfolded as riders looked to get away. Karol Domagalski was the first rider off the front before being brought back with immediate effect. Next to try his luck was Pete Williams but once again the peloton went about shutting the break down as quickly as possible.
At kilometre seven, a group of 3 riders including Hayden McCormick surged off the front of the bunch, managing to open up a marginal gap but due to the GC nature of the break, the peloton weren’t going to let them get too far.
Once McCormick’s breakaway opportunity was shut down, a counter attack group with five riders went clear, which unfortunately had no ONE Pro Cycling representation. The team tried to rectify this as Kamil Gradek attempted to jump across to the leaders, before James Oram also made a strong attempt but to no avail.
When both moves had been neutralised the peloton sat up to allow the escapees to open a gap of 5 minutes before teams started to bring them back.
In the final 30km, there was a potential for strong crosswinds as the race headed south on the run into the finish. ONE Pro Cycling were on constant alert, positioning themselves well in case rival teams decided to increase the race tempo in a bid to split the field. An erratic increase in speed never materialised but the team held good position throughout, making the run into Newark-on-Trent and the delivery of Team sprinter Steele Von Hoff easier.
Kamil Gradek and Hayden McCormick protected Steele Von Hoff, positioning the Australian rider right at the front in the closing kilometres. Passing the flamme rouge (1km to go) Von Hoff was tagging the wheels of many of the worlds best sprinters but as the sprint unfolded Von Hoff faded away crossing the line in 17th position.
Karol Domagalski and Kamil Gradek lost two GC places respectively due to time bonus’ on offer at the finish and now sit 6th & 8th place heading into tomorrow’s Time Trial.
Stage 5 – Individual Time Trial
Start Times (UK Time)
12.23pm – Pete Williams
12.48pm – Steele Von Hoff
1.01pm – James Oram
1.25pm – Hayden McCormick
1.48pm – Kamil Gradek
1.54pm – Karol Domagalski