Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac) has taken his first individual victory of 2016. He took the win in stage five of the Tour of Britain, besting his breakaway companions Amael Moinard (BMC) and Erick Rowsell (Madison-Genesis).
The fifth stage of the Tour of Britain took riders from Aberdare to Bath, over a lumpy 205 kilometre course. Right from the start it was clear that many riders had their sights set on getting in a break, and it was a move of four containing Bauer, Moinard, Rowsell, and Johnny McEvoy (NFTO) that managed to get clear. Javier Moreno (Movistar) saw the potential in the move, and rode across to them solo in order to make it five riders in front.
The break built a lead of over five minutes, but the sprinters’ teams were being attentive at the front of the peloton, with Dimension Data, Lotto Soudal, and LottoNL-Jumbo working hard to keep the break in check. The gap started coming, and with 25 kilometres to go the break held a lead of around 2:30, right on target for a catch in the final kilometres of the stage. With ten kilometres to go, the peloton were still on schedule, with the break retaining just one minute of their original lead.
In the break the riders were starting to get twitchy though, and as the break hit a climb with six kilometres left to go it was Moinard who opened hostilities. The rest of the group managed to make it across to him, apart from McEvoy, who was dispatched back to the peloton.
By the time the break passed under the five kilometres to go mark the gap was just around the 40 second mark. Etixx-QuickStep and Sky were working hard at the head of the peloton to bring the break back, while at the front Moinard tried to go clear once more with three kilometres to go. With the break still holding 36 seconds, it looked like they might have a sniff at a stage win, but they could not afford to play around too much or they would be swallowed up by the flying peloton behind.
As the remaining four riders from the break came around the final bend, Moreno led out the sprint from Bauer, with Moinard on his shoulder, and Rowsell bringing up the rear. The peloton was right behind them though, and it could still all come unstuck for the break. Moinard took over the lead, but it was Bauer who had more punch and managed to sprint clear of Moinard to take the win, with Rowsell just hanging on for third, ahead of a sprinting Caleb Ewan (Orica-Bike Exchange) who led home the peloton, which had swallowed up Moreno.
Dion Smith (ONE Pro Cycling) also finished well with a 14th place on the line, in the same time as stage winner Bauer, with Hayden McCormick (ONE Pro Cycling) 37 seconds back in 62nd place.
In the overall standings, Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) kept his lead of six seconds over Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) in second, with Ben Swift (Sky) in third, 1:03 off the lead.
Bauer is best of the Kiwis in the overall classification and sits in 15th place, 4:33 off the lead, just ahead of Smith in 16th on 4:41.