Wout Van Aert takes stage five of the Tour of Britain with powerful late attack

The Jumbo-Visma rider also moves into to the GC lead, taking the jersey from team-mate Olav Kooij

Wout van Aert celebrates his stage win on day five of the Tour of Britain
(Image credit: SWPix.com)

Wout Van Aert has won stage five of the Tour of Britain in Felixstowe, Suffolk after a ferocious attack out of the bunch with 1.4km to go.

The Belgian Jumbo-Visma rider also took the red, white and blue GC leader's jersey at the same time thanks to a three-second gap over the rest of the race. 

The 192.4km stage, which both started and finished in the port town and looped out into Suffolk, was widely predicted to finish in a sprint. But Van Aert left his rivals with no answer with his late attack, averaging 800 watts into a headwind as he fought to reach the line first.

Ethan Vernon (Great Britain) won the bunch sprint for second with Danny Van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe) third, three seconds back.

The plan to attack had been hatched the previous evening, Van Aert said afterwards: "I came up with a joke slash idea, and we started to think about it, and we knew that even if someone responded immediately the bunch would still be stretched out and Olav would still have a chance of winning the sprint."

Of his dash to the line, Van Aert said he had one eye on the GC: "I tried to force myself not to look behind too much, and just pedal all the way to the line," he said. "I also hoped to have a little gap to the bunch, looking to the GC. I just went flat-out to the line and celebrated afterwards."

"People will have to drop me to take the lead in the overall, so it's a good situation," he added.

A plucky early break of three riders – Joey Rosskopf (Q36.5 Pro Cycling), Abram Stockman (TDT Unibet) and Callum Ormiston (Global 6 Cycling) – went shortly after the first classified climb of the day at Freston after 25km.

They survived for more than 130km in the roasting temperatures, but eventually Ormiston and then Stockman fell away as the race entered the last 20 kilometres. A purposeful chase behind eventually saw US rider Rosskopf finally caught with five kilometres to go.

A strong showing by Jumbo-Visma in the final few kilometres, despite being wrongfooted by a tricky godcake on the approach to town, suggested they were teeing up Kooij for a fifth stage win, only for the marauding Van Aert to reveal their true plan.

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