Breakaway riders rule the day as wind splits the field on Dartmoor

Marco Frapporti of Colnago CSF Inox this afternoon rode away from a breakaway group including Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins, who finished second, and Lucas Sebastien Haedo of Team Saxo Bank, who took third, to win Stage 5 of the Tour of Britain in Glastonbury. Michael Albasini of HTC-Columbia remains in the race leader’s yellow jersey.

The trio were part of an eight man breakaway group that also included Dan Martin of Garmin-Transitions, Iker Camano of Endura Racing, An Post-Sean Kelly’s Pieter Ghyllebert, Michael Golas of Vacansoleil and Heinrich Haussler that had got away early in the 176km stage, which had begun in Tavistock before heading for Dartmoor, where high winds caused a number of splits in the peloton.

Haussler, who is recovering from recent knee surgery following an injury-plagued season, abandoned the race shortly after the day’s third and final categorised climb for the King of The Mountains competition, Coobe Hill, and an earlier high profile departure from the race was Tony Martin of HTC-Columbia, who pulled out after just 10km.

With the gap over the main peloton standing at three and a half minutes with 10km to go, it was apparent that the winner was going to come from the seven remaining escapees, and it was Wiggins who made his move first, although the Team Sky rider was quickly brought back.

Martin was next to attack, and he was swiftly joined by Frapporti, the pair combining well together until the Italian dropped the Birmingham-born Irish rider and rode his way to the stage win, Wiggins getting away from the remaining escapees and overtaking the Garmin-Transitions rider to take second.

Meanwhile, one of the TV motorbikes crashed early on, and although the driver was reported to be unhurt, the cameraman was said to be receiving attention from paramedics, although the extent of their injuries is unknown.

After winning today's stage by 13 seconds from Wiggins, Frapporti revealed that his success was due to his having been liberated from team duties after illness forced Colnago-CSF Inox's leader to withdraw from the race.

“I was here to ride for Manuel Belletti, so I have been riding in support of my team,” Frapporti explained. “But when Manuel got a virus and had to stop, then today I was able to take my own chance, which I did.”

The Italian, who comes from Gavardo near Lombardy, continued: “I attacked with ten kilometres to go with Dan Martin. With five kilometres to go there was a false flat and I jumped then and Dan couldn’t go with me, and luckily for me I kept away. I didn’t even look back, because the moment you look back then you lose, so I just put my head down and went.”

Referring to how the group that eventually ended up contesting the stage had formed, he went on: “At first it was very hard, we had 15 riders with us then a group came together. Then we went again as four and Haussler arrived, and then Wiggins. And then Haussler for some reason stopped. It was hard as it kept splitting over the hills.

“The crowd were very very friendly, and very warm," continued Frapporti.  "During the entire stage there were a lot of people watching and everybody was cheering and shouting so it was a very good atmosphere."

The 25-year-old confessed that towards the end of the stage, also admitted to a momentary lapse of attention that could have brought him even greater international fame than his stage win thanks to the power of YouTube.

“At the finish I was going too hard and I followed the motorbikes in front and almost went down the deviation, so there was fear, but it was ok," he revealed.

Frapporti joins some illustrious compatriots including Alessandro Petacchi and Filippo Pozzato in winning a stage of the Tour of Britain, and Italy is now the most successful country since the race was relaunched in 2004, with eleven victories spread around eight riders.

Tour of Britain Stage 5 Results
1) Marco Frapporti        Colnago-CSF Inox       4h 16m 10s
2) Bradley Wiggins        Team Sky                    @ 13s
3) Lucas Sebastien Haedo  Team Saxo Bank              @ 32s

Honda Combativity Award Winner
Pieter Ghyllebert         AN Post Sean Kelly

General Classification standings (after five stages)
1) Michael Albasini       HTC-Columbia           19h 53m 09s
2) Richie Porte           Team Saxo Bank            @ 1m 28s
3) Borut Bozic            Vacansoleil               @ 1m 32s

The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Jersey (after five stages)
1) Michael Albasini       HTC-Columbia                 39pts
2) Greg Henderson         Team Sky                     36pts
3) Koen De Kort           Skil-Shimano                 30pts

The King of the Mountains Jersey (after five stages)
1) Johnny Hoogerland      Vacansoleil                  51pts
2) Richie Porte           Team Saxo Bank               45pts
3) Dan Martin             Garmin-Transitions           32pts

The Sprints Jersey (after five stages)
1) Michal Golas          Vacansoleil                   23pts
2) Richie Porte          Team Saxo Bank                15pts
3) Matthew Hayman        Team Sky                      11pts

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.