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“In the final it was hard to close the gap without giving Kwiatkowski a platform to gain more time. We wanted to try and win the stage without compromising the GC with Bradley. That’s difficult to do."

Photo: Sirotti

BRADLEY WIGGINS

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TOUR OF BRITAIN

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11.09.2014 @ 22:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Today's stage of the Tour of Britain was a big goal for Ben Swift but his Sky team did nothing to bring back the early break. The team has a hard time working both for the sprints and the GC for Bradley Wiggins.

 

Bradley Wiggins held firm on the general classification after the breakaway contested victory on stage five at the Tour of Britain.

 

The Brit remains in sixth place following a tense finish in Exeter as the day’s escapees held on to battle it out for the win in front of a packed crowd.

 

Team Sky arrived on the front in the closing stages to make sure Wiggins was well positioned for the second-category drag up Stoke Hill and there were no issues on the fast run for home.

 

Ben Swift went toe to toe with Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF) on the home straight and was just edged into fifth, with three break members up ahead. Wiggins and David Lopez finished in the same group, 14 seconds back on the day's winner to hold station on the general classification.

 

Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling) showed plenty of heart to attack on the final climb, distancing his breakaway counterparts and holding off the peloton to win the stage by eight seconds.

 

Shane Archibold (An Post – Chain Reaction) and Maarten Wynants (Belkin) were unable to haul back Brandle in the closing stages but rounded out the podium places before the peloton arrived.

 

Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) retained his three-second lead at the top of the standings and sits 27 seconds ahead of Wiggins and Lopez with four stages to go.

 

 

After the stage, Sports Director Nicolas Portal summed up the day and gave an update on Sebastian Henao following a late crash for the Colombian.

 

“We just missed out on the stage win but the team did well out there today," he confirmed.

 

“In the final it was hard to close the gap without giving Kwiatkowski a platform to gain more time. We wanted to try and win the stage without compromising the GC with Bradley. That’s difficult to do.

 

“We hit the climb in a great position and made sure Brad and Swifty were there. On the descent Sebastian was in front of Swifty heading into the corner with one kilometre to go and crashed. He feels okay. He has some pain in his shoulder but he came back on the bike and we’ll check over him.

 

“Swifty did a good sprint and was second from the bunch. Bradley stayed on the same time. It’s tough to beat a guy like Kwiatkowski but we'll keep going.”

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