Ethan Hayter regains the hot potato of the race lead after Warrington win in Tour of Britain
- Credit: SWPIX.COM
A crash in the final kilometre and a stage win for Ethan Hayter saw the leader's jersey at the Tour of Britain change hands for the fifth day in a row.
The expected bunch sprint came to pass as the peloton finally swept up the remnants of the day's break with 1500m to go.
But wet roads caused a couple to go down on the final corner, hampering Wout van Aert who had regained the race lead a day earlier after his stage win at the top of the Great Orme in Llandudno.
It meant Hayter of Ineos Grenadiers, his nearest rival with a two-second disadvantage at the start of the day, got a clear run at the line and the bonus seconds picked up by crossing the line first mean he is now back in the dark blue jersey again.
Mark Cavendish had to sprint away from the crash to reach the small Hayter group and that dulled his finishing kick, the Manxman ending up fifth.
Ex-Welwyn Wheelers star Oli Stockwell, a former pupil at Verulam School, had finished a wonderful 15th on the ride up the Great Orme 24 hours earlier and was among the main bunch as it came into town, eventually crossing the line in 73rd.
Standings - stage
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1.Ethan Hayer (Ineos Grenadiers) 3:33:01
2.Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka NextHash) s.t.
3.Dan McLay (Arkea Samsic) s.t.
4.Luke Lamperti (Trinity Racing) s.t.
5.Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck Quick-Step) s.t.
73.Oli Stockwell (GB) s.t.
Standings - GC
1.Ethan Hayer (Ineos Grenadiers) 18:17:42
2.Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma) +0.08
3.Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck Quick-Step) +0.19
4.Mikkel Frolich Honore (Deceuninck Quick-Step) +0.29
5.Michael Woods (Israel Start-up Nation) +0.48
34.Oli Stockwell (GB) +5.59
Next - stage six
Three climbs and numerous unclassified ones, especially in the closing stages, as the race heads from Carlisle across the Pennines and the Tyne Valley to finish in the shadow of the Angel of the North in Gateshead.
A stage finish I know only too well and the uncategorised climbs in the final 10km, especially the wonderfully named Busty Bank out of Rowlands Gill, will be a huge launch pad for someone.
The final drag up to the line isn't steep but will sting, however, it comes after a very rapid two-mile descent.
It is likely to be a select group contesting the finish and don't be surprised to see Wout van Aert retake the race lead with another stage win.
Julian Alaphillipe will likely be his main challenger but Hayter can mix it with them on this terrain too.
Stage two: Robin Carpenter takes win and overall lead
Stage three: Ineos Grenadiers in charge with team time trial win