Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac) somewhat made up from the heartbreak he suffered in the 2014 Tour de France, winning stage five of the Tour of Britain from a breakaway from a matter of metres from the peloton.
On stage 15 of the 2014 Tour, Bauer was part of the two-man break pipped to the line by Alexander Kristoff, but ensured that history wouldn’t repeat itself by timing his run to the line to perfection.
Four of the day’s five breakaway riders made it to the final 50 metres ahead of the peloton, but only three of them crossed the line before the marauding sprinters, with Madison Genesis‘s Erick Rowsell taking third behind Amael Moinard.
The five-man break, which also featured Jonathan McEvoy (NFTO) and Javier Moreno (Movistar), gave the peloton a scare, enjoying a gap of 2-10 with 20km remaining.
Sensing the danger, Lotto-Soudal worked hard on the front of the peloton to bring the breakaway back, supported by LottoNL-Jumbo, who were looking to fire Dylan Groenewegan to his second successive win.
As the riders approached the outskirts of Bath the advantage was decreasing by the pedalstroke and with the diesel engine of Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) coming to the front of the peloton the advantage looked to be back with the peloton, with the German knocking off 20 seconds in the space of two kilometres.
But the break fought back to take an gap of a minute into the final 10km, holding their own in a five-man team time trial. Moinard was the first rider to make an attack, going off the front with six kilometres to go on the day’s final ascent.
McEvoy, who swept up all the intermediate sprint points on offer during the stage, was the only one of the five riders not to make it back up to Moinard,
Behind the sprinters teams were edged off the front by Etixx-Quick Step, controlling the pace for race leader Julien Vermote, meaning the breakaway’s chances of the win only increased.
But Team Sky‘s Ian Stannard came to the fore for a last-ditch effort to deliver Elia Viviani to the stage win. With the front four riders playing cat and mouse the gap descended quickly.
Moinard went again with three kilometres to go, but the other three riders made it back to the Frenchman once again, with more weaving by the men up the road giving the peloton a sniff of the win.
But Bauer timed his final attack well to edge past Moinard as Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) came speeding through behind them to take fourth.
Stage six sees the race’s final uphill finish, with riders racing between Sidmouth and Haytor on Dartmoor looking to overhaul Vermote at the top of the general classification.
Tour of Britain stage five, Aberdare – Bath (194km)
1. Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac, 5-45-25
2. Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC
3. Erick Rowsell (GBr) Madison Genesis
4. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
5. Dylan Groenewegan (Ned) 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-Seguros, all same time
Overall standings after stage five
1. Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep in 23-07-29
2. Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data at 6 secs
3. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky at 1-03
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal at 1-03
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx-QuickStep at 1-04
6. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 1-08
7. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac at 1-12
8. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1-12
9. Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-16
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky at 1-16