Wout Poels (Team Sky) bagged victory on Hartside Fell as former champion Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) claimed the race lead on stage five of the Tour of Britain.
Former Sky man Boasson Hagen started the day second overall, and looked momentarily like he would claim victory on the race’s only summit finish, but Poels rallied to earn the stage honours.
The MTN-Qhubeka man’s push was not in vain though, the Norwegian champion finishing second on the day and taking over the yellow jersey by a single second once bonus seconds were taken into account.
Rolling out of Prudhoe in Northumberland, the stage was always likely to be a decisive one as far as the general classification was concerned with the Hartside Fell summit finish.
First though, there were mountains and sprint points to contest from the break, and One Pro Cycling’s Pete Williams ensured he remains leader in the latter by getting in the day’s escape group.
Joined by last year’s King of the Mountains Mark McNally (Madison-Genesis), Connor Dunne (An Post Chain Reaction), Morgan Kneisky (Team Raleigh-GAC) and Michael Morkov (Tinkoff-Saxo), the group was more than 6’30” ahead before Team Sky started to pull them back.
Alongside securing more sprint points, Williams also moved to the top of the mountains classification – despite polka dot jersey holder Tom Stewart’s team-mate McNally snaffling maximum points at both intermediate climbs.
Only Williams, McNally and Morkov remained in the group up the road by the time they hit Hartside Fell, however, and their day up the road was also almost at an end.
On the climb, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) attacked, with Poels bridging across with four kilometres of climbing still to come.
As it looked as though the two Dutchmen would be playing out the fight for stage honours, Boasson Hagen attacked however and bridged and passed.
The Norwegian champion’s victory charge was checked by a resurgent Poels, who snatched victory inside the final 100m.
Boasson Hagen crossed just two seconds later, however, and now leads overall by the slenderest of margins – something he will hope to improve on with bonus sprint seconds up for grabs in the coming days.
The best-placed Brit overall, meanwhile, remains Owain Doull (Team WIGGINS) who limited his losses to earn fifth spot on GC and a 37-second deficit.
Tour of Britain 2015: stage five – result
1) Wout Poels (NED) – Team Sky – 4.12.22hrs
2) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) – MTN-Qhubeka +2”
3) Benat Intxausti (ESP) – Movistar +17”
4) Zdenek Stybar (CZE) – Etixx-QuickStep +18”
5) Rasmus Guldhammer (DEN) – Cult Energy Pro Cycling – ST
6) Steven Kruijswijk (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo
7) Xandro Meurisse (BEL) – An Post-Chain Reaction
8) Chris Anker Sorensen (DEN) – Tinkoff-Saxo
9) Ruben Fernandez (ESP) – Movistar
10) Dylan Teuns (BEL) – BMC Racing
1) Edvald Boassn Hagen (NOR) – MTN-Qhubeka – 23.02.36hrs
2) Wout Poels (NED) – Team Sky +1”
3) Rasmus Guldhammer (DEN) – Cult Energy Pro Cycling +30”
4) Benat Intxausti (ESP) – Movistar +33”
5) Owain Doull (GBR) – Team WIGGINS +37”
6) Dylan Teuns (BEL) – BMC Racing +38”
7) Zdenek Stybar (CZE) – Etixx-QuickStep – ST
8) Ruben Fernandez (ESP) – Movistar
9) Steven Kruijswijk (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo
10) Chris Anker Sorensen (DEN) – Tinkoff-Saxo