Ewan comes close on stage five Tour of BritainThu 8 Sep 2016
Stage five of the Tour of Britain concluded with a nail biting finale as the remaining breakaway riders just survived with sprint star Caleb Ewan closing in on them to claim a very close fourth place.
With four of the five origional breakaway riders playing cat and mouse inside the last five kilometres, the fierce chasing peloton began to rapidly close in.
Ewan launched out of the wheels in the final moments with just one metre separating the winner Jack Bauer (Cannonade-Drapac) and the rest, leaving Ewan agonisingly close to a stage victory.
“It was a frustrating finish for us,” explained sport director Matt Wilson. “We weren’t sure how Caleb was going to feel, he struggled a bit yesterday and it was another hard day today.”
“We thought we would therefore sit back a little bit today. We lost two riders with around 50kilometres to go and then Rob Power had a crash which we are waiting to see if he has broken anything as he had some pain afterwards in his hand.
“So we basically didn’t have the numbers in the final to do anything. We had to roll the dice and hope that it would come back but it didn’t.
“It was devastatingly close for Ewan but congratulations to Bauer, he had an amazing ride today.”
How it happened:
A rapid pace opened up stage five of the tour with various small groups heading off the front with ORICA-BikeExchange represented in the initial moves.
Eventually it was a group of five rider, Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac), Jonathan McEvoy (NFTO), Eric Rowsell (Madison Genesis), Javi Moreno (Movistar) and Amael Moinard (BMC Racing Team) who were given some freedom riding away to sizeable adavantge.
The leaders worked well to stay clear of the peloton for the majority of the stage holding on to a one minute advantage with just 10kilometres to go.
The key sprint teams within the peloton began a fierce chase behind in an attempt to reel the escapees back in ready for a bunch sprint.
The leaders dropped down to four and began to play around, slowing the pace and looking at each other which dramatically reduced their advantage coming into the final two kilometres.
With just 20seconds to play with, the peloton caught sight of the leaders as the sprint opened up with Luka Mezgec finding the perfect position with Ewan directly on his wheel.
Ewan burst from his teammates wheel, setting a blistering pace and was able to pass one rider on the line as Bauer just clinched the victory.
It was a close finishes between Ewan and Rowsell, with Ewan finishing the day in fourth spot, the finish line coming just a couple of metres too early.
Three stages remain with two more potential sprint opportunities for the team on stage seven and eight in the circuit races but tomorrow ends with a six kilometre climb to the summit finish in Haytor.
Tour of Britain stage 5 results:
1. Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac) 5:45:25
2. Amael Moinard (BMC Racing Team) ST
3. Eric Rowsell (Madison Genesis) ST
4. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-BikeExchange) ST
General classification after stage 5:
1. Julien Vermote (Etixx-Quickstep) 23:07:29
2. Stephen Cummings (Dimension-Data) +0:06
3. Ben Swift (Team Sky) 1:03
51. Luka Mezgec (ORICA-BikeExchange) 14:05