Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish led the peloton onto The Struggle, just over a minute and a half down on the fracturing front group as Vermote and Roche went clear from the break with Xandro Meurisse, Bert-Jan Lindemann and Trek Segafredo stagiare Jacopo Mosca.
First to bridge across was BMC’s former World Hour Record holder Rohan Dennis with an impressive ride, making six in front on the descent, with a chase group of ten led by Cummings and Ben Swift behind. Under pressure from Cummings and Gallopin that group dissolved, with Cummings going on to make it across.
The Brit put in several attacks on the rolling Crook road from Windermere towards Kendal, with Vermote the only rider able to follow him. The pair built a 40-second gap as they approached 5-kilometres to go, the majority of that work done by Cummings as with Dan Martin behind Vermote was content to bide his time until the finale on Beast Banks.
With Cummings leading up the climb, Vermote surged past on the outside as the gradient eased going into the final 200-metres, crossing the line with a 2-second advantage over Cummings, good enough for a six second lead overnight going into Stage Three in Cheshire.
The win was Vermote’s first since his victory in Brighton during the 2014 Tour of Britain, when he won alone at the end of another arduous stage.