Tour of Britain: Mark Cavendish helps Fernando Gaviria to stage win

Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish celebrates in the background as team-mate Fernando Gaviria wins stage four

Mark Cavendish helped Etixx - Quick-Step team-mate Fernando Gaviria to victory on stage four of the Tour of Britain.

Cavendish guided the Colombian to a sprint finish at the end of the 217km route from Edinburgh to Blyth.

Gaviria held off German Andre Greipel to win in a time of five hours 13 minutes eight seconds with Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen in third place.

Movistar's Juan Lobato (Spain) finished 15th to retain the overall lead.

The race ends in London on Sunday.

Welshman Owain Doull - riding for Sir Bradley Wiggins' team - remains in contention, 14 seconds off the lead in sixth place.

Wiggins - using the Tour of Britain as preparations for his European Track Championships and Rio 2016 campaigns - is in 101st place overall, nearly three minutes down.

Mark Cavendish

Analysis from BBC Sport's Matt Slater

"Mark Cavendish started this Tour of Britain by losing the first stage by about an inch and then launching into a defence of the sprinter's art.

"His main point was that the Vuelta, with its emphasis on gear-grinding gradients, has forgotten that sprinters are good riders too, and a bunch sprint can make for great TV.

"It has taken three days but Cavendish can now point to some compelling evidence, although his star witness is team-mate Fernando Gaviria, the winner of a thrilling fourth-stage sprint into Blyth.

"With Cavendish widely expected to be leaving Etixx - Quick-Step next season, this will no doubt prompt some to speak of a changing of the guard.

"But I am not ready to write off the Manxman just yet - he has made a nonsense of such predictions before - and it should be noted that it was Cavendish leading the celebrations even before Gaviria had crossed the line."

Stage four result

1 Fernando Gaviria (Col/ Etixx - Quick-Step) 5 hours 13 mins 8 secs

2 Andre Greipel (Ger/Lotto Soudal) Same time

3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor/MTN - Qhubeka)

4 Owain Doull (GB/Team Wiggins)

5 Jens Debusschere (Bel/Lotto Soudal)

6 Jonas Vangenechten (Bel/IAM)

7 Elia Viviani (Ita/Team Sky)

8 Gerald Ciolek (Ger/MTN - Qhubeka)

9 Floris Gerts (Ned/BMC Racing Team)

10 Graham Briggs (GB/JLT Condor)

Selected others:

13 Mark Cavendish (GB/ Etixx - Quick-Step) Same time

101 Sir Bradley Wiggins (GB/Team Wiggins) + 2 mins 49 secs

General classification after stage four:

1 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa/Movistar) 18 hours 50 mins 12 secs

2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor/MTN - Qhubeka) +5 secs

3 Floris Gerts (Ned/BMC Racing Team) +12 secs

4 Wouter Poels (Ned/Team Sky) +13 secs

5 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned/Cannondale-Garmin) Same time

6 Owain Doull (GB/Team Wiggins) +14 secs

7 Graham Briggs (GB/JLT Condor) Same time

8 Rasmus Guldhammer (Den/Cult Energy Pro Cycling)

9 Matteo Trentin (Ita/Etixx - Quick-Step)

10 Serge Pauwels (Bel/MTN - Qhubeka) +20 secs

Selected others:

63 Mark Cavendish (GB/Etixx - Quick Step) +21 mins 52 secs

88 Sir Bradley Wiggins (GB/Team Wiggins) +26 mins 36 secs

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