Eddie Dunbar on the attack at the Tour of Britain
Irish cyclist now up to third overall in King of Mountains classification
Eddie Dunbar put in a big bid on stage four of the Tour of Britain on Tuesday. Photograph: Getty Images
Eddie Dunbar put in a big bid on stage four of the Tour of Britain on Tuesday, going on a long-range attack and putting big pressure on the riders chasing behind en route to the finish in Kendal.
Early on Dunbar’s Ineos team-mate Dylan Van Baarle attacked with Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) and opened up a big gap; Dunbar was then strong enough to bridge across, and did a lot of work to ensure the break pulled out a decent lead.
Van Baarle is a former winner of the race and it appeared that Dunbar was trying to help set him up for another big general classification result. He put in such an effort that he eventually cracked, going back to the bunch with over an hour of racing left, but while Van Baarle pushed on ahead alone, he too was eventually reeled in.
Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) then put in a highly impressive effort on the uphill ramp to the line, opening up a three-second gap in the final sprint. Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) was second. Dunbar and Rory Townsend (Canyon DHB p/b Bloor Homes) rolled in over 14 minutes back, with Dunbar now up to third overall in the King of the Mountains classification.
Van der Poel now leads overall, with Dunbar 59th, Conor Dunne (Israel Cycling Academy) 65th and Townsend 76th. After the stage, the team praised Dunbar, saying he had bridged a two-minute gap solo to the break.
“We wanted to make the race hard from the start. It was a shame there was only three of us but we made it hard enough for the other guys,” said van Baarle.
“The stage was really hard as we had a headwind all day, so it was not ideal for a three man breakaway, but we worked really well together – Eddie Dunbar did a really good job – but I didn’t finish it off. There are some more stages to go and it will be good to try again.”
Dunbar is likely to also attack again before the race ends on Saturday, not least because he is building form for the upcoming world championships.