Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-Scott) won stage six of the Tour of Britain, taking the top spot at the individual time trial after remaining in the hot seat for almost two hours.
Second place was earned by Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First), 7s behind the 23-year-old winner, with Dylan van Baarle (Ineos) tied in third.
>> Struggling to get to the shops try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
The day’s action saw Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon–Circus) return to the leader’s jersey, having completed the course 17s quicker than pre-stage GC, Mitchelton-Scott’s Matteo Trentin.
Speaking once all scores were on the doors and the stage win was secured, the former under 23 Italian national time trial champion Affini said: “It was probably more stressful staying in the hot seat than doing the time trial. But it was worth it.
“I managed to do a good time trial, and pace myself well, so I was able to give everything on the way back home.”
How it happened
The 14.4 kilometre test in Pershore, Worcestershire sent riders on a loop traversing traditional Malvern B roads and small country lanes.
A 500 metre ramp, averaging 6.8 per cent, reared its head within the first two kilometres, before flatter roads let riders settle into more of a rhythm ahead of the gradual descent to the line.
Affini, twelfth rider off, set an early time of 16 minutes 39 seconds which was good enough to see him remain in the hot seat even as his team mate, final rider Matteo Trentin, set off almost two hours later.
British National time trial champion Alex Dowsett, off 51st around 40 minutes later, was the fastest through the intermediate time split at the time in 9-11, to Affini’s 9-12.
However, Dowsett’s finishing time saw him roll in 13s adrift of the Italian in the top spot, eventually pacing in seventh.
In the end the quickest intermediate check went to the trio of Tanel Kangert (EF Education First), Van der Poel and Trentin – all three tied at 9-04, Kangert eventually earning fifth on the stage.
With just two riders left to threaten the top spot, the closest rider to Affini was 71st off, Langeveld (EF Education First), in a time of 16-46, which had pushed Van Baarle (Ineos) into third also 7s back.
Once Van der Poel charged through the finish line in 16-51, there was only one rider left to threaten Affini’s win.
Trentin stopped the clock at 17-08 – leaving the podium as before and also representing a re-shuffle in the GC as Van der Peol moved into green.
Tour of Britain 2019, stage six Pershore (14.4km ITT)
1 Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott in 16-39
2 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Ef Education First at 7s
3 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos at 7s
4 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 8s
5 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First at 10s
6 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon–Circus at 12s
7 Alex Dowsett (Gbr) Katusha-Alpecin at 13s
8 Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 16s
9 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 17s
10 Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto-Soudal at 20s
General classification after stage six
1 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon–Circus in 21-50-49
2 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 6s
3 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 24s
4 Jasper de Buyst (Bel) Lotto-Soudal at 26s
5 Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 27s
6 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos at 33s
7 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 35s
8 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First at 36s
9 Andrey Amador (Crc) Movistar at 39s
10 Armund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 40s