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Leigh Howard takes lead from Cavendish

Friday, September 14 2012 by SNTV
  • Intro:

    Marc de Maar went clear of a large breakaway group inside the final seven kilometres to win Thursday's fifth stage of the Tour of Britain, while Leigh Howard reclaimed the overall lead from Mark Cavendish.


    Ivan Basso engineered the day's early breakaway on stage five of the Tour of Britain, attacking after the first of three categorised climbs on the 147-kilometre route, which started and finished in Stoke-on-Trent.

    Mark Cavendish wore the overall leader's yellow jersey after completing back-to-back stage wins on Wednesday, so his Sky team-mate Bradley Wiggins led the pursuit of Basso on the front of the peloton.

    That main group splintered at the start of the final climb of the day though, with several small groups going clear off the front.

    Cavendish suffering from the increase of pace and slipping off the back of the peloton.

    As the breakaway riders formed into a large group to chase down Basso, Tour de France champion Wiggins rode back down the course to find Cavendish before attempting to drag the Manxman back into the reckoning.

    UPSOUND: (English) Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky:
    "Dedication to the cause!"

    Basso was caught by the pursuit group with a little over 40 kilometres to go.

    As the leaders headed into the final ten kilometres, two members of the group crashed on a tight corner - Marc de Maar and Jeremie Galland both unseated.

    De Maar was quickly back on the saddle though and managed to latch back on to the bunch.

    The United Healthcare rider made the most of this second opportunity, attacking inside the final seven kilometres and pulling clear of his rivals.

    Nobody was willing to chase down De Maar and he pressed on for the stage win, crossing the finishing line in three hours, 30 minutes and 27 seconds.

    Cavendish, Wiggins and company eventually finished the stage 11 minutes and 45 seconds behind de Maar.

    As a result, stage two winner Leigh Howard reclaimed the overall lead.

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