Stage four of the Tour of Britain 2014

A searingly fast finish from Michal Kwiatkowski saw him become the fourth Friends Life Yellow Jersey of the 2014 race, as the Pole won the Worcester to Bristol leg of the race.

The Omega Pharma Quick-Step rider took an imperious stage win on the Clifton Downs with a victory that seemingly makes him the man to beat for the overall title at the 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain.

Starting the day in second place in the Friends Life General Classification, 13 seconds behind Tumble winner Edoardo Zardini, Kwiatkowski appeared on the start line at Worcester in his speedline skin suit. He wanted the stage win and he wanted the ten second time bonus even though it was by no means certain how the testing 185km run from Worcester through Worcestershire and Gloucestershire was going to play out.

For a long while it appeared that the remnants of an eight man break might stay away and mop up the bonus seconds but as the peloton gathered pace down the wide open Portway along the Avon Gorge and swung onto the SKODA King of the Mountains climb of Bridge Valley Road they quickly cut into the two minute advantage which had set the GC riders on red alert.

Jack Bauer and Albert Timmer though were alert to the threat and attacked hard up the short but fierce Category 2 climb up and for a long while looked set to take the honours in Bristol. Only Nicolas Roche and eventually Kwiatkowski started to chase but with just 250 metres to go it still seemed possible that Bauer, the New Zealander and Timmer, from the Netherlands, might stay away but fatally the slowed little to consider their finishing options.

Kwiatkowski, 24, was already travelling at extreme pace around a sweeping right hand bend – it is just possible the leading duo didn’t see him – and as he shot by it suddenly seemed like everybody else was back pedalling.  Timmer hung on for second, and the day’s Rouleur Combativity Award, while a fast finishing Dylan Teuns nipped in for third place in front of a tiring Bauer, moving him up to third overall.

 

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About Julian Claxton

My passion for photography is supported by experiences gained on exciting travel adventures and through working for fantastic photographers. In 2006, I made the exciting step of realising my dream of becoming a freelance photographer. Since this pivotal moment, I have held numerous exhibitions, been featured nationally & internationally in print and won numerous awards, including being a finalist in the National Geographic Photographic competition in 2013 with one of my documentary images from the Sudan. From an early age I began to enjoy taking pictures of my daily life, basking in the thrill of sending the film to the printers and eagerly awaiting the pocket sized prints. My first foray into the world developing and printing strangely began at school when I was asked to produce a descriptive photo for the school newspaper. A front page shot later and I was destined to start the long arduous journey of becoming a photographer. In between exciting travel adventures and working for fantastic photographers, I graduated from college and at a crossroads in my journey to becoming a pro photographer, I embarked on a career working as a medical photographer. Learning new skills and dabbling in video production as well as progressing design skills, I yearned for the challenge and freedom of becoming a freelance. I have been fortunate enough to work on some amazing assignments which have included shooting a documentary assignment with an air ambulance, gaining full access to a British Pro cycling team during an international UCI tour, cycling to Rwanda and creating a photographic documentary of my journey. The experiences continue to grow, meeting wonderful people to photograph and telling the story of their journey. The list of events and striking moments that have played out through my viewfinder continue to grow and provide me with ever increasing snapshots of life to capture. One of the highlights of my career thus far has been staying in rural Uganda, teaching photography to the kids from the region, in a project I set up in late 2014, entitled ‘Give a child a camera’. The basis of the project is to supply 35mm cameras and film to the rural schools in this region of East Africa, teaching the children how to shoot photographs. After a week of taking photos of their life, an exhibition is held at the school and the children leave with their very own album, camera and film. One of the images I shot at Eden school in rural Uganda, during morning chapel won the 2015 Travel Media Tourism and Photography award. A great honour and one that I wouldn’t have picked up had it not been for the wonderful children of East Africa. For further information please visit www.julianclaxtonphotography.com
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