Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) coasted to victory on the Tour of Britain stage five, taking his third stage win of the race well ahead of second place Matt Walls (Great Britain) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott).
Groenewegen was dropped off comfortably at the front of the bunch in the final 250m of the stage to Birkenhead by his lead out man Mike Teunissen and was able to launch his sprint and hold off those behind to take the win.
Walls, 21, was able to try and follow and jump clear from the rest of the peloton, hanging on for an impressive result ahead of Trentin in third and Cees Bol (Sunweb) in fourth.
Thanks to his third place and four bonus seconds, Trentin was able to regain the overall lead from Mathieu van der Poel who took it yesterday. The Dutchman, whose team had done much of the work on the front in the final half of the race, was only able to finish 14th on the stage and now sits three seconds behind in second place on GC.
How it happened
Stage five of the 2019 Tour of Britain would see riders take on an undulating 174.1km stage out and back from Birkenhead.
While the stage looked likely to end in a sprint despite a late climb in the final 4km, a breakaway got up the road early on.
Jake Scott (SwiftCarbon), Matt Bostock (Canyon-dhb), Emil Vinjebo (Riwal Readynez) and Rob Scott (Wiggins-Le Col) were the four men to ride clear, gaining a maximum advantage of around 2-10.
The peloton were content to let them hang out front, with Jake Scott able to take maximum king of the mountains points over two of the three climbs along the route.
After taking maximum points on the first of two ascents of Flaybrick Hill with 34km to go, Jake Scott dropped back to rejoin the peloton, which was driven on by race leader Mathieu van der Poel’s Corendon-Circus team as well as contributions from Sunweb and Jumbo-Visma.
Rob Scott was also distanced around this point, leaving just Bostock and Vinjebo out front with still over a minute’s advantage, still holding 1-20 as they fought on into the final 20km of the stage.
With 18.2km to a number of riders took the wrong exit of a roundabout, some ending up on the wrong road and some in a lane of stationary traffic.
That slowed the peloton momentarily, with the gap stalling at 55 seconds with 17km to go.
The chase by Corendon-Circus continued with the gap then gradually decreasing, and in the final 10km things were looking ominous for the leading pair.
With gap now just 10 seconds or so Vinjebo decided to try his luck solo with 9km to go, but it was short lived.
Numerous attacks then came over Flaybrick Hill in the final 4km from the likes of Gianni Moscon (Ineos), Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) and Simon Clarke (EF Education First), though nothing could stick
With high speed in towards the finish, it was Sunweb who took control into the final kilometre with Jumbo-Visma coming to the front with Groenewegen with 250m to go.
By the time they had taken the gentle left hand bend towards the line, Groenewegen was well in front and just had to launch his sprint to coast home to victory.
The Tour of Britain continues tomorrow with stage six; a 14.4km time trial out and back from Pershore.
Tour of Britain 2019, stage five: Birkenhead to Birkenhead (174.1km)
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, in 3-57-31
2. Matt Walls (GBr) Great Britain
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb
5. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
6. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
7. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Ineos
8. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data, all at same time
General classification after stage five
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus, at 3 seconds
3. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at 10 seconds
4. Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First, at 17 seconds
5. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 18 seconds
6. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Ineos, at 22 seconds
7. Andrey Amador (CRC) Movistar
8. Armund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
9. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
10. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos, all at same time