Stage wins rank higher than finishing on the podium for the American team.

Jack Bauer says Garmin-Sharp’s list of priorities at the Friends Life Tour of Britain now ranks taking stage wins higher than finishing on the podium.

Bauer sits 13th overall, one place behind team-mate Dylan van Baarle, and 54 seconds off leader Michal Kwiatkowski after five stages.

The Kiwi rider has ridden aggressively in the race, most notably on The Tumble on Tuesday and in yesterday’s finish in Bristol, but with little reward.

His team attempted to close down a four-man breakaway en route into Exeter this afternoon, but were unable to do so as IAM’s Matthias Brändle took the win.

“We’ve been looking to try and capitalise on any opportunities, so we made the decision to put our boys on the front to see if we could pull it back,” he said. “We didn’t get close enough to have a hit out in the finale.

“It’s not a missed opportunity. When you put your team on the front and they work for you, they’re trying to create an opportunity. We gave it a crack, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

“Little opportunities can come and go every day; we need to take chances, and go for stages.”

Echoing the views of race leader Kwiatkowksi (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Bauer does not believe the podium battle is over as the race enters its second half.

He said: “I wouldn’t say it’s done. There are people who are now clear favourites for the win, but in a race like this, the stages can be fairly unpredictable.”