Team NetApp again in the top 10 at the Tour of Britain
The fifth stage of the Tour of Britain covered 147 kilometers around Stoke-on-Trent. As expected, the hilly course around the city in central England delivered a shake-up in the general classification. The stage was won by Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare), who finished ahead of Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin – Sharp) and Boy van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare). Team NetApp's Leopold König sprinted into eighth place. Leigh Howard (Orica Greenedge) reclaimed the overall leader's jersey. After this stage Bartosz Huzarski places 9th overall.
About 30km after the start, Bartosz Huzarski broke away with two other riders. The peloton was completely split up over the course of the race. With 40 kilometers to go, a new lead group took shape consisting of 20 riders, including Bartosz Huzarski and Leopold König. König attacked on Gun Hill, the stage's final mountain classification. Initially, he managed to take the lead with six other riders, but the remaining riders in the larger lead group caught up. There were many attacks shortly before the finish, but only Marc de Maar's attempt, with six kilometers to go, proved successful. He managed to win the stage as a solo rider.
"Our tactics worked out very well. It was clear that this course would result in a strong selection. In addition the race went really fast. That's why we wanted to help set the pace for the race at the very beginning. Bartosz joined a group early on and was then able to stay with Leo in the leading group. Finishing among the top 10 is perfectly fine because the next two stages will be even more difficult," Enrico Poitschke explained after the race.
The sixth stage will cover 190 kilometers through Wales, from Welshpool to Caerphilly. Once again, the riders will face a selective course with four category-one mountain classifications. The hilly final lap sets the stage for a group finish.