Australian Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad) won the fifth stage of the 2011 Tour of Britain in Exmouth, Devon, on Thursday.
In a reverse of stage one’s result, Renshaw took a convincing win ahead of HTC team-mate Mark Cavendish in a bunch finish. German Robert Forster (United Healthcare) placed third.
The win is a boost for Renshaw, who is smarting after being left out of Australia’s team for the 2011 Road World Championships next week.
Lars Boom (Rabobank) maintained his overall lead in the race ahead of Welshman Geraint Thomas (Sky) by 12 seconds. Boy van Poppel (United Healthcare) is third overall at 14 seconds.
An earlier 13-man escape group that included local man Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Rapha Condor Sharp), Michael Rogers (Sky) and Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen) splintered in the final 25km as Damien Gaudin (Europcar) launched a solo effort from the break.
The Frenchman stayed out front for the best part of 20km before he too was absorbed by the bunch in the final 4km.
Tiernan-Locke, mountain man
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke’s race-within-the-race with Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport Specialized) saw the Rapha Condor Sharp man relieve Hampton of the King of the Mountains jersey.
Have ridden aggressively on the climbs over the past two stages, Tiernan-Locke stepped it up a notch, launching an attack on Dartmoor in a successful attempt to snatch maximum mountains points on all three of the day’s climbs.
Tiernan-Locke’s reward was the polka dot jersey and the combativity award for the stage – that and the many new fans gained by him and Hampton for their attacking style.
Pieter Ghyllebert (An Post) retained his position at the top of the Yodel sprints classification. Geraint Thomas (Sky) moves into the points classification jersey.
Rasmussen out after missed dope test
Dane Alex Rasmussen was a non-starter in Exeter after the HTC-Highroad team terminated his contract with immediate effect.
Rasmussen had recently missed an anti-doping test, and it was revealed that he missed two in 2010 whilst riding for Saxo Bank. This prompted his sacking under the team’s strict anti-doping regualtions. It’s the first time that a rider has withdrawn from the Tour of Britain relating to an anti-doping matter.
Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor Sharp) and Jeroen Janssen (Raleigh) abandoned during the stage.
The race continues its excursion into the West Country, with stage six from Taunton to Wells in Somerset over 146km. The riders will face the final big climbs of the race through Cheddar Gorge and Old Bristol Hill.
Tour of Britain 2011, stage five: Exeter to Exmouth, 180.3km
1. Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad
2. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad
3. Robert Forster (Ger) United Healthcare
4. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
5. Andrew Fenn (GB) An Post-Sean Kelly
6. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky
7. Zak Dempster (Aus) Rapha Condor Sharp
8. Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
9. Daniel Schorn (Aut) NetApp
10. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Leopard-Trek all same time
Overall classification after stage five
1. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 12 secs
3. Boy van Poppel (Ned) United Healthcare at 14 secs
4. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 16 secs
5. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Leopard-Trek at 17 secs
6. Ian Bibby (GB) Motorpoint at 19 secs
7. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen at 19 secs
8. Stephen Cummings (GB) Sky at 19 secs
9. Jan-Bert Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 19 secs
10. Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank at 19 secs
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke on Haytor
Mark Cavendish on Haytor
Lars Boom and Geraint Thomas
Mark Renshaw wins as team-mate Mark Cavendish celebrates behind him
Mark Renshaw after his win
Golden boy: Lars Boom keeps the overall lead
Tour of Britain 2011: Latest news
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By Andy Jones
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