The first team trial in the history of the Tour of Britain was won by LottoNL-Jumbo in Cumbria on Thursday. The Dutch outfit blitzed the other squads beating second placed Quick-Step Floors by a huge 16 seconds over the 14km course.
The Katusha-Alpecin team of former British time trial champion Alex Dowsett finished in third place, some 20 seconds in arrears.
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The stage has brought a reorganisation of the general classification, with Slovenian Primož Roglič moving into the race leader’s green jersey, ahead of Quick-Step Floors’ Julian Alaphilippe who is now six seconds down, his team-mate Bob Jungels a further 10 seconds back.
The course was largely uphill, with the opening seven kilometres containing some steep ramps towards the end. With the clock stopping on the fourth rider across the line, the race set set a difficult challenge, especially for those teams who had suffered rider abandonments from their six starters.
How it happened
The race saw a mixture of machines used by some of the early starters, with some opting to split their riders between road bikes and time trial rigs.
First down the ramp JLT Condor were all on road bikes and set the first benchmark at the intermediate timing check, after seven kilometres.
However, second on the road were Canyon-Eisberg who had three riders on time trial and three on road bikes, a tactic which clearly paid off for the British squad, who finished in 21-20 to take the race lead despite losing Alex Paton early on.
After setting the best intermediate time of the first six starters, Team GB’s young squad became the third consecutive team to set a new fastest time, and the first to stop the clock below 21 minutes, clocking 20-55.04.
Though they were to finish with a very creditable 10th place, their time at the top of the ranking was short lived, however, as the bigger teams began their rides.
World team time trial champions, Sunweb were the first of the WorldTour outfits on the 14km course and there was no surprise when they set a new best intermediate time of 8-52, before stopping the clock at 20-42 to take the provisional race lead.
Having begun the day 13th of the 20 teams, Team Sky were next to take the race hot seat. Despite losing Chris Froome with four kilometres to go, and Łukaz Wiśniowski shortly after, the remaining four riders never appeared to be in trouble, sprinting to take the best time of 20-03.
However, as the race progressed a flurry of new best times followed, and the British outfit soon ceded the hot seat to Katusha-Alpecin, who were the first team to finish inside 20 minutes.
Tomorrow sees the race remain in the Lake District, finishing at the same place for what is the event’s queen stage. The 188.3km sixth stage comprises five classified climbs, including two ascents of Whinlatter Pass, though both will be from the opposite direction to Thursday’s test.
OVO Energy Tour of Britain, stage five: Cockermouth – Whinlatter Pass team time trial (14km)
1. Team LottoNL – Jumbo, in 19-37
2. Quick-Step Floors, at 16 seconds
3. Team Katusha-Alpecin ,at 20 seconds
4. Team Sky, at 26 seconds
5. Movistar Team, at 36 seconds
6. BMC Racing Team, at 38 seconds
7. Mitchelton Scott, at 54 seconds
8. Team Sunweb, at 1-06
9. Direct Energie, at 1.10
10. Team GB, at 1-18
General classification after stage five
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) LottoNL Jumbo, in 15-45-04
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors, at 6 seconds
3. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick Step Floors, at 16 seconds
4. Patrick Bevin (Aus) BMC Racing, at 24 seconds
5. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, at 26 seconds
6. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 34 seconds
7. Jascha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar, at 36 seconds
8. Jos vaan Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 37 seconds
9. Neilson Poles (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo, at same time
10. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton Scott, at 42 seconds