Ryan Gibbons produced a strong finish to take 7th place in the 4th stage of the BinckBank Tour finishing in Ardooie. The stage was won by Jasper Stuyvan (Trek-Segafredo).
Caleb Ewan (Mitchleston-SCOTT) took second with Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) in third.
On a day where another bunch sprint was predicted, a breakaway after just 5km made the early racing but were caught with 80km to go by the peloton. With 50km to go there was another breakaway with 4 riders but that move was also nullified, this time within the final 20km
Michael Valgren and Chris Juul-Jensen then tested the bunch for a final time with 9km to go but could make their move stick, and the race seemed at that point set to come down to a sprint.
It was at this point that Trek-Segafredo took up position right on the front of the peloton knowing that the technical finish would put them in pole to take top spot on the podium. Stuyvan executed his team perfectly taking line honours.
The rest of our team were all safely home in the bunch with Tom-Jelte Slagter 42 seconds adrift.
Ryan Gibbons – Rider
Quite a nervous stage today with there being a fair bit of wind and a few pinch points along the route. All the teams were very anxious, especially after the break stayed away in yesterday’s stage. A few times along the route the group split up due to cross winds or the cobble sector, but we were always in the mix and had a lot of representation in the front group.
It came back together for the final circuits and the guys looked after me really well. It was a messy final with a few tight corners and narrow roads. Trek played it very well tactically and Stuyven could sneak away.
This caused a bit of a hesitation in the group and it bunched up right at the end. Reinie and Julian did a great job but with the bunching up, it took me a while to find a gap to start my sprint and thus played catch up and had to settle for 7th in the stage. The team rode well and I’m feeling really good which is positive and we hoping to pull something off in tomorrow’s final sprint opportunity.