Steve Cummings put himself in pole position to emulate Bradley Wiggins and become only the second British rider to win the Tour of Britain.

HAYTOR, United Kingdom (AFP) — Steve Cummings put himself in pole position to emulate Bradley Wiggins and become only the second British rider to win the Tour of Britain after taking the overall lead on Friday. Wiggins won the race in 2013.

The 35-year-old Dimension Data rider is enjoying an indian summer in terms of his career with stage wins this year at four major races including the Criterium du Dauphine and the Tour de France.

“The team have done an excellent job all week in taking care of me every day and sacrificed chances for Mark [Cavendish] in the sprints to protect me,” said Cummings. “I was feeling a little bit of pressure coming into today and I just thought all I could do was do my best and I gave it my all at the end and I’m delighted to take yellow.”

Stage 6, top 10

Top-10 overall

And he now holds a 49-second lead over Dutchman Tom Dumoulin after Friday’s challenging sixth stage from Sidmouth to Haytor on Dartmoor.

Overnight leader Julien Vermote of Belgium — who had led since winning Monday’s second stage — had an awful day in the saddle and slipped out of the top 10 in the overall standings.

The stage itself went to Dutch rider Wout Poels, the Team Sky rider going clear in the final 1.5km to record his third win on British roads.

“The last part we took control and we wanted to close the gap to go for the stage victory with me,” said Poels. “Yogi [Ian Stannard] and Danny [van Poppel] did a really good job, so I was really happy with that. It’s my sixth [win] of the season already and it’s always nice to win here at the Tour of Britain; last year on the uphill finish and this year again. It’s a really nice race.”

Cummings — second in the 2008 and 2011 editions — came eighth.

Saturday’s stage is a time trial which could be a cliffhanger as Dumoulin thrives in them having taken silver in the Olympics last month.

Stage 6 results

General classification