• Tour of Britain, Stage Five

De Maar flies home for stage win in Stoke

ESPN staff
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Marc de Marr celebrates as he approaches the finish line © PA Photos
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Marc de Maar produced a fine solo burst to power to victory in Stage Five of the Tour of Britain.

The United Healthcare rider picked himself up off the deck to go away six kilometres from home and his fantastic burst opened up a gap that he retained all the way into Stoke.

"We knew what to expect," De Maar, who hit the deck with 10kms to go, told ITV4. "We tried to stay up there and having three riders in the bunch helped us. We were planning to go for the sprint, but there was some movement with a few kms to go.

"I was following wheels and then had a look over my shoulder and saw a gap and just kept on going. It was a hard effort."

De Maar's sole focus was on the stage, having started the day over 12 minutes behind on general classification, and the delay in the peloton making their chase proved decisive.

Mark Cavendish's stay in the gold leader's jersey was brief, as he struggled on a couple of uncategorised climbs and failed to get himself into the lead group and came home well adrift- 11.43 down at the line.

Bradley Wiggins was moving well in the lead group, but dropped back when learning Cavendish was in trouble and in doing so his hopes of overall victory are effectively over.

Boy van Poppel took third and a four-second time bonus, but it was not enough to get him into gold as Leigh Howard took over from Cavendish as race leader.

Christian Knees is the best placed Sky rider at 24 seconds behind Howard, with the team's focus now likely to shift to him.

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