The Unitedhealthcare Pro cycling Team’s Boy Van Poppel (NED) continued his impressive run in the 2012 Tour of Britain earlier today, Wednesday, September 12, with his fourth consecutive top 10 finish of the race. In Stage 4 today, Van Poppel landed just off the podium finishing in 4th place of the prestigious event that is drawing enormous crowds throughout the entire route, rain or shine. Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish won the stage, as the Team Sky rider topped Garmin-Sharp’s Steele Von Hoff (AUS), who took second, and Orica-Greenedge’s Leigh Howard (AUS) who finished in third place, just ahead of van Poppel.
Teamwork is the mantra for the boys in blue as van Poppel’s teammates continue to factor in heavily, keeping the young sprinter in contention for the overall. Today, Chris Jones (USA) rode in the front group of 21 riders alongside the overall points’ leader, helping him navigate through heavy crosswinds and massive puddles that could have passed for stream crossings along the route in North West England, a 156km journey from Carlisle to Blackpool. Through four stages van Poppel has managed to snare three top five finishes and four total top 10 performances, with his 2nd place (Stage 1), 3rd place (Stage 2), 7th place (Stage 3) and 4th place (Stage 4) finishes, an impressive showing at the halfway point in this year’s Tour of Britain. Van Poppel retains the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Leader’s jersey and sits in 3rd place overall, 14 seconds behind Cavendish, who retains the IG Gold jersey and remains atop the general classification.
The Tour of Britain is now the UK’s biggest professional bike race and the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event. Stage 5 of the Tour continues tomorrow, Thursday, September 13, with the ever-popular Stoke-on-Trent Stage, which celebrates five years on the Tour of Britain.