The best of the rider quotes following stage four of the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, held between Gateshead and Kendal, won by Mathieu van der Poel.

Dutchman van der Poel moved into the OVO Energy green jersey after his victory atop the fearsome Beast Banks climb in the Cumbrian town on Tuesday.

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon – Circus Cycling Team)

Stage winner and OVO Energy green jersey leader

“Attacking early was a bit of a gamble because I didn’t really know where the finish line was. I got a bit bumped in yesterday at the finish and I didn’t want it to happen then again today, so I just went full gas with 300 metres to go.

“It was actually a bit far but I immediately had a gap. With 100 metres to go the road got a bit easier so it was big enough to keep that gap until the finish line.

“It’s really nice to win this stage; it was a really, really hard stage, a lot of climbing and I think my team rode it perfectly. We controlled the race together with the team of Matteo Trentin [Mitchelton-SCOTT] and then at the end I think Otto Vergaerde did an amazing job to get the leaders back just in time for me to do my sprint.

“It’s never flat here so it’s up and down all day so it was a lot of altitude metres so more than I expected and we almost had 3000 metres altitude metres so it’s quite a lot.”

On the Beast Banks climb in Kendal. “I felt pretty OK and I knew that the finish suited me really well if I had good legs. I was confident to do a good finish here I think the team did a great job. This climb is perfect for me. I really like those finish straights and it’s something I’m good at especially after a hard stage like today.”

On his chances of winning the OVO Energy Tour of Britain: “It’s going to be a battle for sure but I think the time trial [on stage six] will be decisive and it’s been a long, long time since I’ve done one. I don’t know where I stand in that discipline right now so it’s going to be really hard to be in touch with the best time trial guys here.”

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT)

Ninth and former OVO Energy green jersey leader

“It was a really hard day actually – there were more breakaways in front [than the previous stages] so we took control with some other teams. I think we came out of this stage really well.”

On his GC chances: “We’ll see tomorrow first because I think everybody need a little bit of rest after today. This stage was really hard for every single rider.”

Click here for the stage report | Click here for full stage results