The Belgian continues to lead the general classification as the race is preparing to reach its climax.
Julien Vermote in the yellow jersey is becoming a familiar sight at the Tour of Britain, where the 27-year-old won a stage after a demonstration of raw power and impressive stamina, which took him to the top of the overall standings. Three days later, a strong Julien – supported by a solid and united Etixx – Quick-Step team – is still in control of the GC and looks to the crucial stages of the race, where everything will be played out between the contenders.
Until then, Vermote passed another fast and hard test in stage 5 of the race (Aberdare – Bath, 194.5 kilometers), which was won by Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac) from a day-long breakaway, after the Kiwi rider out-gunned his fellow escapees Amael Moinard (BMC) and Erick Roswell (Madison Genesis). The peloton arrived in the same time, following a great amount of work put in by Etixx – Quick-Step, who lined up at the front of the pack in the closing kilometers, guiding Julien to the finish, where he came in the top 15.
"I am happy to be again on the podium and don the yellow jersey for the fourth time in a row. I couldn't have done it without the team's help, who kept me safe at the front and controlled the break's gap", said Julien, who is aware that Friday's final climb to Haytor (5.7 km, 6% average gradient) is going to be a tough nut to crack. "It's great to spend another day in yellow at this beautiful race. Tomorrow, a very hard stage awaits with a difficult final ascent, but we are determined to make the most out of it and leave everything on the road."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele