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Ethan Hayer (Ineos Grenadiers) won stage 5 of the 2021 Tour of Britain, besting Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka-NextHash) and Daniel McLay (Arkéa Samsic) in a mad dash for the line. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), in the mix in the final few meters, was fifth on the day.
The lead-up to the sprint was disrupted at 750m to go when a crash took down a handful of riders on the front of the race.
From nearly kilometer-zero, five riders went off the front and had built up nearly a three-minute gap by the halfway point of the 152km stage from Alderley Park to Warrington.
Recently crowned MTB short track world champion Christopher Blevins (Trinity Racing) was in this quintet, along with Nickolas Zukowsky (Rally Cycling), and the green sprinter’s jersey on the back of Jacob Scott (Canyon dhb SunGod). Leo Mazzone (Holdsworth Pro Cycling), and Daniel Bingham (Ribble Weldtite) were also in this group.
Rain splashed the route and made roads slick before the sun broke through the clouds in the final 30 minutes of racing.
The breakaway’s margin had dwindled to less than 30 seconds inside of 15km, with Israel Start-Up Nation, Ineos Grenadiers, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, and Jumbo-Visma all doing work to reel in the five on the front.
Scott, who had scored sprint points uncontested at two checkpoints in the final half of the stage dropped back from the break and into the main bunch before the final 10km. The three remaining on the front were lead by Zukowsky.
The “Manx Missle” did huge turns on the front between 7km and 5km to go, to try to set up teammate and world champion Julian Alaphilippe, or at the very least keep him safe.
With barely 3km to go, a 10-second margin remained between the break and their pursuers as Ineos Grenadiers and Deceuninck-Quick-Step tried to lead a cagey group through wet 90-degree turns and around road “furniture.”
The last of the break was caught at 1.6km out, and the red-and-black of Hayter’s team was on the front as the race sped towards the red kite.
Just 800m later, a crash took down a handful of riders in the front as they swept left before the final straightaway. This disrupted Alaphilippe and van Aert.
Sensing an opportunity, Cavendish took to the front right before Nizzolo opened up the sprint.
Hayter timed his final kick well, and came around Nizzolo to take the stage win and 10 bonus seconds which catapulted him back into the race lead.
He is now eight seconds ahead of the stage-4-winner van Aert, and 19 seconds ahead of Alaphilippe, who are second and third, respectively, in the general classification.
2021 Tour of Britain Stage 5 Results
- Ethan Hayer (Ineos Grenadiers), 3:33:01
- Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka-NextHash), at s.t.
- Daniel McLay (Arkéa Samsic), at s.t.
- Luke Lamperti (Trinity Racing), at s.t.
- Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), at s.t.
- Colin Joyce (Rally Cycling), at s.t.
- Michał Paluta (Global 6 Cycling), at s.t.
- Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), at s.t.
- Gonzalo Serrano (Movistar Team), at s.t.
- Kristian Sbaragli (Alpecin-Fenix), at s.t.
2021 Tour of Britain Stage General Classification
- Ethan Hayer (Ineos Grenadiers)
- Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), at :08
- Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), at :19