Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling) stayed away in the breakaway to win stage five of the Friends Life Tour of Britain in Exeter
The 24-year-old Austrian, in 37th place (at three minutes and four seconds) in the GC before the day’s start, broke away from the four-man escape group four kilometres before the finish on the day’s final KOM, the three kilometre category 2 Stoke Hill.
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It was billed as a day when yellow jersey wearer Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma–QuickStep) might attack again but the peloton’s late chase did not enable the Pole to add to his lead. Therefore his 14second advantage over Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) and 27-second advantage to Bradley Wiggins (Sky) remains intact. The top ten GC has not altered.
The day’s escape formed early on and contained Brandle (IAM), Maarten Wynants (Belkin), Shane Archbold (An Post-Chain Reaction) and Andreas Stauff (MTN Qhubeka). Archbold rolled home second and Wynants third, eight seconds behind Brandle and six seconds ahead of the peloton.
15 kilometres from the finish and the gap still had a sizeable advantage of two minutes. Knowing that there was a feasible chance of the breakaway staying away having failed to pursue earlier, the peloton’s chase workload was shared out amongst the GC teams, as well as Great Britain.
As they approached Stoke Hill with five kilometres remaining, the four-man break ascended with a lead of 59”.
Bradley Wiggins was stationed at the head of the peloton before Dylan Van Baarle (Garmin-Sharp) attacked out of the bunch and Brandle broke from the breakaway group.
Omega Pharma led at the front and caught Van Baarle. The attacks kept coming, Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp) and Nicholas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo), for the third day in a row, launching brief but unsuccessful attacks.
Earlier in the stage, Mark McNally (An Post-Chain Reaction) collected the remnants of the KOM points at Mamhead and the busy Haytor, picking up an extra eight points, which make him all but certain to win the classification.
Tour of Britain 2014, stage five: Exmouth to Exeter, 177.3km
1. Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling in 4-32-03
2. Shane Archbold (NZl) An Post-Chain Reaction at 8 secs
3. Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin at same time
4. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani at 14 secs
5. Ben Swift (GBr) Sky
6. Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing
7. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
8. Kevin Ista (Bel) IAM Cycling
9. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Tinkoff-Saxo
10. Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp at same time
Overall classification after stage five
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 20-21-50
2. Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani at 3 secs
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing at 14 secs
4. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Tinnkoff-Saxo at 14 secs
5. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar at 23 secs
6. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky at 27 secs
7. David Lopez (Spa) Sky at 27 secs
8. Leopold Konig (Cze) NetApp-Endura at 29 secs
9. Sebastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling at 29 secs
10. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 40 secs
Images from the fourth stage of the 2014 Tour of Britain, won by Michal Kwiatkowski. Photos by Andy Jones
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