Tour of Britain: Leader Olav Kooij equals record with fourth consecutive stage win

Olav Kooij wins stage four of the 2023 Tour of Britain
Wout van Aert has led out Olav Kooij to win a bunched sprint finish on all four stages so far

The Netherlands' Olav Kooij won stage four of this year's Tour of Britain to equal Edvald Boasson Hagen's record of four consecutive stage wins.

The Jumbo-Visma rider, 21, maintained his 100% record on his race debut by winning the 166.6 km stage from Sherwood Forest to Newark.

Kooij remains general classification leader by virtue of his superior tally in points classification.

Britain's Ethan Vernon was third to edge from fourth to second overall.

Kooij and Vernon are among 56 riders tied on the same time halfway through the eight-stage race, with Britain's Tom Pidcock still in seventh overall.

Britain's Harry Tanfield and TdT-Unibet team-mate Abram Stockman formed a two-man breakaway on Wednesday, which was caught by the peloton 27.5km from Newark.

The first four stages have all featured little climbing and ended in bunched sprint finishes, and Belgian star Wout van Aert, the 2021 race winner, again led out team-mate Kooij.

The race leader then finished strongly to stay clear of compatriot Casper van Uden and Vernon, and go level with Norwegian Boasson Hagen, who won four straight stages en route to the first of his two Tour of Britain titles in 2009.

Thursday's stage is a relatively flat 192.4km route which begins and ends in Felixstowe and could present Kooij with the chance to take the record outright.

Stage four results

1. Olav Kooij (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) 3hrs 45mins 40secs

2. Casper van Uden (Ned/DSM-Firmenich) Same time

3. Ethan Vernon (GB/Great Britain)

4. Milan Fretin (Bel/Flanders-Baloise)

5. Max Kanter (Ger/Movistar)

6. Stian Fredheim (Nor/Uno-X Pro Cycling)

7. Davide Persico (Ita/Bingoal WB)

8. Ben Turner (GB/Ineos Grenadiers)

9. Sam Bennett (Ire/Bora-hansgrohe)

10. Davide Bomboi (Bel/TdT-Unibet)

General classification after stage four

1. Olav Kooij (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) 13hrs 25mins 31secs

2. Ethan Vernon (GB/Great Britain) Same time

3. Max Kanter (Ger/Movistar)

4. Wout Van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma)

5. Davide Bomboi (Bel/TdT-Unibet)

6. Danny van Poppel (Ned/Bora-hansgrohe)

7. Tom Pidcock (GB/Ineos Grenadiers)

8. Casper van Uden (Ned/DSM-Firmenich)

9. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa/Movistar)

10. Rory Townsend (Ire/Bolton Equities Black Spoke)