Wiggins retains race lead as Tour of Britain heads for Devon
Ireland’s Sam Bennett won the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain with a sprint finish into Caerphilly yesterday, but Sir Bradley Wiggins retained the overall lead.
The An Post-Chain Reaction rider out-sprinted Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) after a group of riders pulled clear on the second climb of the category one mountain in Wales.
Ian Stannard (Team Sky) led team-mate and gold jersey holder Wiggins and, by keeping the group together, successfully helped preserve the four-times Olympic gold medallist’s 37-second lead going into’s today’s stage in Devon.
Stannard is second in the general classification and leads Switzerland’s Elmiger by six seconds.
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Bennett completed the 177km ride from Machynlleth to Caerphilly in four hours 35 minutes 28 seconds.
The 22-year-old, who was beaten to the line by Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) in Kendal on stage two, launched an attack from the middle of the group on Caerphilly Mountain, having already conquered Cwm Owen and the Brecon Beacons.
“It was a real hard fight coming into the finish but I knew if I hung on up the climb that I would recuperate quick enough for the sprint and I just hung in,” Bennett said.
“It was a bit of a gamble going into the last corner – I went a bit wide – but I had enough acceleration to take the win,” he added.
An impressive ride from Great Britain’s Simon Yates, 21, earned him sixth place on the day and saw him reach eighth in the general classification as the riders prepare for today’s summit finish on Dartmoor’s Haytor.
Today’s stage starts at 11am on Sidmouth seafront and visits Honiton, Tiverton, Exeter, Starcross, Chudleigh and Moretonhampstead before the conclusion on Haytor between 2pm and 2.30pm.