Stage Six of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain rolled out of the Jockey Inn in the famous horse racing town of Newmarket and finished on the Suffolk Coast in the picturesque coastal town of Aldeburgh. The course took the riders through many narrow lanes around the Suffolk countryside, with some tricky conditions for the peloton including several down pours throughout the course of the 186.9km stage.
With only 500 metres of elevation throughout the stage, one King of the Mountain climb on the run in to the finish and three intermediate sprint points…it was definitely considered to be a day for the sprinters.
As the flag dropped the usual flurry of attacks commenced with ONE Pr Cycling’s Kamil Gradek sliding himself into the first couple of moves. Yorkshire resident Pete Williams then took charge at the front, launching several attacks that were all once again chased down by the active peloton.
Gradek and Williams both had another attempt at slipping off the front of the peloton, including a move at 8km which looked rather promising. However Team Lotto NL Jumbo who were controlling the front of the bunch had different ideas and once again the peloton was complete.
The next and final key move included Hayden McCormick, who jumped clear in a small group of three before being quickly joined by four other riders to create a leading group of seven and the peloton began to shut down. Hayden McCormick was the best placed rider on general classification within the group only 1 minute 17 seconds down on the overall classification leader Lars Boom (Lotto NL Jumbo) and so the peloton kept a tight leash on the break throughout the day, never allowing the seven leaders more than 2 minutes.
The break worked well together throughout the day as the seven riders each took turns on the front to try and keep the peloton at bay. A superb performance from McCormick saw the young Kiwi pick up six sprint points and six bonus seconds along the way. With 35km remaining, Lotto NL Jumbo had brought the gap down to just one minute and then handed the chase over to the sprinters teams. At this point the break pressed on, riding as hard as they could at the front, opening the gap to 1 minute and 35 seconds with just 20km remaining.
The break pressed on, each rider giving 100% to the common goal of staying clear of the chasing peloton lead by the sprinters teams. But the fairytale ending was snatched away as they reached the 4km to go mark and they were reabsorbed into the bunch.
With the break dissolved it was all eyes on the bunch sprint and the lead out trains began to battle it out at the front. Kamil Gradek delivered Steele Von Hoff to the front in a perfect execution ready for the ensuing sprint. Heading into the final corner in 10th place, Von Hoff opened his sprint but slid back in the last 500 metres to cross the line in 18th place and Gradek hot on his heels in 19th position.
With just two stages remaining the team still have four riders within 1 minute 30 of the overall lead and three riders in the top 30.