Jack Bauer (Cannonade Drapac) put in an all action display to win Stage Five of the Tour of Britain into Bath with a dramatic finish on the Royal Avenue as the peloton caught the break at the line
The victory, his first individual win since breaking his leg 14-months ago at the Tour de France, came at the end of a hard 194.5-kilometre stage from Aberdare in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The Kiwi was part of a five rider break who survived until the final dash for the line, with Bauer and breakaway companions Amael Moinard and Erick Rowsell taking the 1-2-3 in Victoria Park, ahead of Caleb Ewan and Stage Four winner Dylan Groenewegen who led in the break.
It was a tough day out there. We had a great group, a really motivated group and really balanced which is quite unusual for a breakaway in that everyone really commits,” said the Cannondale Drapac rider after the stage.
I really appreciate what I have and I’ve tried to make a real go of it this year but this really caps off a difficult season for me and I think many people had written me off thinking I just couldn’t ride my bike any more or perform to the same level. But a year on I’m back and I’m able to win a race and I’m really grateful for that.
With the race in effect all coming back together for the finish the overall classification remained unchanged, with Julien Vermote continuing in the Yellow Jersey presented by Eisberg. The Belgian lies six seconds ahead of Steve Cummings heading towards a potentially decisive summit finish in Devon on Friday’s Stage Six.
Bauer had broken away along with Moinard, Rowsell, Javier Moreno and Johnny McEvoy as the race headed across South Wales. The quintet built a lead of over five-minutes as the race headed through Gloucestershire, which was whittled down by the teams of Lotto Soudal and LottoNL Jumbo working towards the sprint.
The gap steadily diminished, and with four rider remaining out front the gap was just a handful of seconds racing through the outskirts of Bath. Taking the penultimate left-hand corner Bauer went clear, but immediately eased as he sense the gradient steepen, following Moreno’s wheel through the final right hander before opening his sprint, to take the win as the charging peloton caught the escapees moments too late.
Dan McLay took a top ten spot in the bunch kick to move into the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey, while Jasper Bovenhuis kept the Yodel Sprints Jersey and Xandro Meurisse the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey.
All images ©Sweetspot & Theo Southee photography
Highlights of Stage Five are on ITV4 at 8pm with a repeat at Midday on Friday 9 September and available on demand via the ITV Hub for 30-days.
Stage Six sees the peloton head to Devon for a 150-kilometre stage from Sidmouth to Haytor in the Dartmoor National Park, which culminates with a summit finish atop a five-kilometre climb. Live coverage of Stage is on ITV4 from 12:30, with highlights at 8pm.