Stage five of the 2021 Tour of Britain saw the riders race from Alderley Park to Warrington, where a fast, flat finish waited. And while hopes were high for sprinter Matt Bostock, it ended up being a relatively a low-key day for the Canyon dhb SunGod squad. That was aside from the inevitable presence of Jacob Scott in the breakaway!
Here’s the fifth in our series of photo diaries from the season’s premier domestic bike race...
Brain trust. Sports director Tim Elverson, right, and assistant sports director Simon Hunt discuss tactics before the start of the 152.2km fifth stage. The duo have been at the helm of the team since it was founded by Tim in 2017, forging a formidable partnership.
One’s a highly-decorated and renowned bike racer, both on and off-road. The other is Wout van Aert! These two sharing a laugh and a joke on the start line each day has been a great sight, although Jacob might miss his pal on stage six after Ethan Hayter regained the leader’s jersey with victory in Warrington.
Once he’d finished his chat with the Milan San Remo winner and multiple cyclocross world champion, it was down to business for Jacob Scott and that meant escaping in the day’s break. He did just that, for the fourth successive road stage.
Meanwhile back in the bunch, Matt Bostock was being looked after by his team-mates as he hoped to contest the sprint on the streets of Warrington.
It wasn’t to be for the Manx man, though. Alongside his team-mates and most of peloton, he was caught up behind a crash in the final few kilometres. A small group went on to fight for glory, while Matt – never short of a smile – wasn’t too disheartened. His chance will come.
Max Stedman has tales to tell during the post-stage debrief. The climber, who starred with 11th place on the stage four summit finish on The Great Orme in north Wales, had a more relaxed day in the saddle and he, too, finished with the main bunch.
And so to the podium, where Jacob Scott has set up camp since Sunday. Here he is celebrating another day in command of the red intermediate sprints jersey...
...and here’s the 26-year-old, from Yorkshire, taking the plaudits in the king of the mountains jersey. He now heads this classification, which he won in 2019, by 32 points – all but certain to take it home again on Sunday evening.
“All right, lads. Belt up!”
The Canyon dhb SunGod squad – and Jacob Scott’s furry friends – had a two-hour transfer to Carlisle in readiness for stage six. The 198km route weaves its way from west to east, across the Pennines and three category one climbs, before finishing in the shadow of the Angel of the North in Gateshead.
The race continues...