Tour De Yorkshire – Stage Four (Skipton)
Olympic Champion Greg Van Avermaet claimed the 2018 Tour De Yorkshire title after Stephane Rossetto rode to a sensational solo victory in Leeds. Rossetto won by 34 seconds after riding the final 120km out front on his own. Belgian Van Avermaet, who started the day 10 seconds behind overnight leader Magnus Cort Nielsen, finished second on the last stage to take the blue jersey.
Van Avermaet, won the title by nine seconds from Spanish rider Eduard Prades with the 2017 Champion Serge Pauwels finishing third overall. BMC Racing’s Van Avermaet was among the pre-race favourites and he lived up to his billing after a terrific final day ride.
The stage from Halifax to Leeds City Centre had been described as the ‘Yorkshire Terrier’ by race organisers and it certainly lived up to its billing with Rossetto finally emerging in a break after a flurry of early attacks. The Frenchman was joined by Max Stedman and Connor Swift, however the latter was left behind once they reached the fourth of six short but steep categorised climbs.
That left Rossetto with a little over 120km to ride on his own, most of it through the Yorkshire Dales, but he had built up a lead of about nine minutes over the group containing Van Avermaet, Nielsen and the other race favourites, with each passing hill his advantage dwindled but he reached the outskirts of Leeds with a lead of about 90 seconds which proved enough.
Speaking after the race Stephane Rossetto said, “This is my third professional win and certainly my most beautiful, I did it on a race that is growing in stature all the time, the crowd was amazing. It has been like riding the Tour de France over the last four days.”
Hundreds of thousands of fans lined the route each day and their enthusiasm led to Van Avermaet, who has won several of the sport’s biggest one-day races, including the Paris-Roubaix to say, “It was a great atmosphere and I’m happy to have this victory, the course was fantastic as well with a lot of variation over the four stages and this race definitely deserves its place on the calendar. I hope to come back and defend my title next year.”
It was a great day for British rider Ian Bibby who finished the fourth stage in third place riding for JLT Condor, the final placings for the stage and the overall tour can be found below.
Stage Four Result
1. Stephane Rossetto (Fra/Cofidis)
2. Greg van Avermaet (Bel/BMC Racing)
3. Ian Bibby (GB/JLT Condor) Same time
4. Edward Dunbar (Ire/Aqua Blue Sport)
5. Eduard Prades (Spa/Euskaltel-Murias)
Overall Tour Positions
1. Greg van Avermaet (Bel/BMC Racing) 16hrs 38mins
2. Eduard Prades (Spa/Euskaltel-Murias) +09secs
3. Serge Pauwels (Bel/Dimension Data) +14secs
4. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro/Katusha) +19secs
5. Michael Storer (Aus/Sunweb) Same time