Tour of Britain 2016: Jack Bauer wins stage five as breakaway succeeds
New Zealander claims victory as five-man break foils sprinters - just
Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac) won stage five of the 2016 Tour of Britain in Bath, as the breakaway just about held off the sprinters.
Bauer outsprinted Amael Moinard (BMC Racing) and Erick Rowsell (Madison-Genesis), after all three spent the day in a five-man break, with the sprinters in the peloton just running out of road to catch them.
Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) finished in the peloton, meanwhile, meaning he will wear the yellow jersey for the Queen Stage to Haytor.
A fast-paced start was littered with attacks but it took several attempts for the break to form – and when it did it was a dangerous quintet up the road.
Rowsell started the day 16th overall, 4’39” down, while Bauer was 20th, a further four seconds back.
The two former Endura Racing riders were joined by another of Brian Smith’s former protégés in Johhny McEvoy (NFTO), alongside Moinard and Javier Moreno (Movistar) – less threatening overall, but strong riders to power the break nonetheless.
Ian Stannard led the peloton, with Dimension Data also contributing to the pace-setting, to keep the five riders in check but as the gap stretched to more than five minutes with 50km remaining to temporarily threaten the yellow jersey.
Rowsell used the intermediate sprints to climb the overall standings, while McEvoy enjoyed a clean sweep of the mountain points to move fourth in the classification.
King of the Mountains leader Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) extended his advantage, meanwhile, leading the peloton through each climb to claim three more points.
When LottoNL-Jumbo and Lotto-Soudal organised their chase, however, the advantage to the front five came down rapidly – though despite that, Andre Greipel was happy to do bottle-fetching duty for the latter.
The gap was still 3’30” with 32.5km remaining, but another 40 seconds were knocked off in the next five kilometres.
It meant the yellow jersey was no longer under threat, but the fight for stage honours was still very much on as Dimension Data also lent numbers to the chase.
Still the gap came down, under the unrelenting pressure from Lotto-Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo – Greipel setting the pace for the former, clearly having ceded the sprint leadership for the stage.
Despite the front five continuing to come through and off, and working well together, the lead dropped to less than a minute inside the final ten kilometres thanks to Greipel’s pace.
Their co-operation finally ended as they approached five kilometres to go, with Moinard accelerating off the front.
Bauer, Rowsell and Moreno followed, but McEvoy – content with his accumulation of mountain and sprint points – could not, and sat up.
The acceleration was sufficient to keep the gap, however – despite Stannard and Team Sky upping the ante in the peloton too.
After the leading quartet started eyeballing each other, Moinard attacked again but again Bauer, Rowsell and Moreno closed the gap – the four 21 seconds clear with 1.5km remaining.
Bauer led the way into the final kilometre, and Moreno opened the sprint out, but as they rounded the final bend the peloton was closing in fast.
Stage four winner Dylan Groenewegen closed them down fast, but Bauer came round Moreno at the front to claim the stage.
Moinard was second, while Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) – from the peloton – nearly pipped Rowsell to third, a clear indication of how close it had been.
Tour of Britain 2016: stage five – report
1) Jack Bauer (NZL) – Cannondale-Garmin – 5.45.25hrs
2) Amael Moinard (FRA) – BMC Racing – ST
3) Erick Rowsell (GBR) – Madison-Genesis
4) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Orica-BikeExchange
5) Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – Team LottoNL-Jumbo
6) Boy van Poppel (NED) – Trek-Segafredo
7) Jens Debusschere (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal
8) Dan McLay (GBR) – Great Britain
9) Nicola Ruffoni (ITA) – Bardiani-CSF
10) Jose Goncalves (POR) – Caja Rural
1) Julien Vermote (BEL) – Etixx-QuickStep – 23.07.29hrs
2) Steve Cummings (GBR) – Dimension Data +6”
3) Ben Swift (GBR) – Team Sky +1.03
4) Tony Gallopin (FRA) – Lotto-Soudal – ST
5) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Etixx-QuickStep +1.04
6) Xandro Meurisse (BEL) – Wanty-Groupe Gobert +1.08
7) Dylan van Baarle (NED) – Cannondale-Drapac +1.12
8) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Alpecin – ST
9) Jacopo Mosca (ITA) – Trek-Segafredo +1.16
10) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – Team Sky – ST
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