LONDON (AFP) — Team Sky’s Wout Poels won the Tour of Britain’s fifth stage on Thursday, while former champion Edvald Boasson Hagen took the overall lead after the race’s only summit finish.
“It was really close,” said Poels. “At 500 meters to go, when Edvald [Boasson Hagen] attacked really strongly, I thought I was going to be second, but then he slowed down a little bit so I took my chance. I knew there was going to be strong cross winds in the last 500 meters; in fact, it was quite rough for the last three kilometers.”
MTN-Qhubeka’s Boasson Hagen started the day in second-place overall, and he pushed Poels close on Hartside Fell, but the Dutch rider was able to hold off his advances and win the stage. Despite finishing two seconds behind Poels, Boasson Hagen’s efforts were not in vain as the Norwegian took a one-second lead ahead of the Dutchman in the general classification.
“I knew the wind was going to be really hard, but my hope was to build enough of a gap when we had the tailwind but Wout [Poels] was too strong,” said Boasson Hagen. “When he went past, I tried to ride for seconds, and I am happy to have the jersey.”
Movistar’s Juan Jose Lobato, the previous leader, was unable to keep pace on the climb, finishing 89th and falling to 41st overall. His teammate, Benat Intxausti finished third on the day, 17 seconds adrift.