Wout van Aert moved back into the AJ Bell Tour of Britain race lead after out-sprinting reigning world champion Julian Alaphilippe to win the fourth stage that started in Mid Wales on Wednesday.
The duo finished on the same time with Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) one second further back, while overnight leader Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) slipped back to second place overall – just two seconds in arrears on van Aert – after a great fightback in the final kilometre from the Brit.
Van Aert now enjoys a two second lead on Hayter with Alaphilippe and his Deceuninck – Quick-Step team-mate Mikkel Honoré at 11 and 21 seconds respectively, before a dangerous trio of riders in Woods, Rohan Dennis (INEOS Grenadiers) and Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) all within one minute.
Ethan Hayter retains the Sportsbreaks.com Points jersey thanks to finishing each stage so far in the top five while Jacob Scott (Canyon dhb SunGod) extended his lead in both the ŠKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprints classifications having once again infiltrated a breakaway.
The break, containing Scott and five others, was kept on a tight leash by the likes of Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Jumbo Visma as the race made its way north from Aberaeron alongside the Ceredigion coast in a third straight day of sunshine and high temperatures.
From the Aberaeron start, the race headed to Aberystwyth, Machynlleth, Dolgellau, Barmouth and Harlech before finishing with a steep climb to the top of the Great Orme in Llandudno.
Stage Five today sees the peloton heading to Cheshire. The race is sponsored by AJ Bell, one of the UK’s leading online investment platforms, helping people invest for the long term via ISAs, pensions and general investment accounts. It has a rich history of supporting elite level sport including badminton, cricket, rugby, squash and triathlon.
Wout van Aert out-sprints reigning world champion Julian Alaphilippe to win stage four.
The peleton arrives in Aberystwyth.
The peleton tackles Bwlch Llyn Bach pass near Talyllyn Lake.
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