Nicolas Roche fourth in Tour of Britain

Irishman broke late on Stage 5 but was overhauled by Austria’s Matthias Brandle

Matthias Brandle of IAM cycling won stage five of the Tour of Britain.  Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Matthias Brandle of IAM cycling won stage five of the Tour of Britain. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

 

Austria’s Matthias Brandle escaped to victory on stage five of the Tour of Britain in Exeter on Thursday as Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski retained the race leader’s yellow jersey.

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche finished the stage in ninth and is fourth overall behind the leader after his daring late break was thwarted.

Brandle (IAM Cycling) was in the day’s four-man breakaway alongside Andreas Stauff (MTN-Qhubeka), Maarten Wynants (Belkin) and Shane Archbold (An Post-Chainreaction).

The decisive moment of the 177.3km route from Exmouth came not on Dartmoor but on the drag into Exeter up Stoke Hill, with Brandle prevailing.

Brandle won by eight seconds from second-placed Archbold, who beat Wynants in a two-up sprint, while Bardiani CSF’s Sonny Colbrelli led the peloton 14sec behind in fourth.

Team Sky’s Ben Swift was fifth, with Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) seventh and defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) 36th.

Wiggins remained sixth overall, 27sec behind Kwiatkowski, before Friday’s sixth stage, the 205.6km from Bath to Hemel Hempstead.

The day’s racing included an ascent of Haytor on Dartmoor, but the action ignited within sight of the finish. Garmin-Sharp led the pursuit on the run-in into Exeter, before the other teams with overall contenders shared the workload.

The quartet’s advantage was tumbling as the peloton closed in with every revolution on the approach to Stoke Hill. Omega Pharma, BMC Racing, Team Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Bardiani CSF all jostled for position as they tried to reel in escapees.

Dylan van Baarle (Garmin-Sharp) accelerated out of the peloton on the lower ramps of Stoke Hill in an attempt to bridge the gap to the quartet. Brändle surged into the lead ahead of his fellow breakaways as, behind him, Van Baarle was caught and Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) attacked.

The Irishman’s move was marked by his overall rivals, whose jostling prevented a coherent chase and led to Brandle’s victory.

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