Tour of Britain: Simon Yates wins stage six as Bradley Wiggins retains overall lead
England's Simon Yates climbed to a famous victory on stage six's summit finish at the Tour of Britain.
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 20/09/13 6:07pm
Yates, 21, formed part of a select nine-man group also containing Wiggins and Nairo Quintana on the ascent to Haytor in Dartmoor and then rode away from them all in the final 200m to underline his status as one of the sport's most promising young stars.
The result sees him climb up to third place in the general classification, 1min 6sec down on Wiggins, who also performed well on the final climb and finished seven seconds behind his compatriot.
It was an outstanding display from Yates, who is riding for the Great Britain team, and continues a breakthrough year in which he has already been crowned a track world champion and won two stages of the prestigious Tour de l'Avenir.
Wiggins's Team Sky team-mate Ian Stannard did not fare so well, though, falling from second to seventh overall after being dropped on the 5.8km, category-one final ascent and losing almost a minute.
With the remaining two stages of the race both expected to end in bunch sprints, it appears only crashes or an unexpected turn of events can now deny Wiggins his first overall win at the Tour of Britain and Yates a place on the podium.
Stage six contained the race's first summit finish since its re-branding as the Tour of Britain in 2004 and presented Wiggins's rivals with their last real chance to prise the leader's gold jersey off of his shoulders.
After several unsuccessful initial skirmishes, a five-man breakaway was finally allowed to go clear and although points and mountains classifications leader Angel Madrazo (Movistar) was among their ranks, none of them were an immediate threat on the general classification and they were allowed to open up a gap of three and a half minutes.
Yates rises to the top
The advantage began to fall when Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox took over from Team Sky at the front of the peloton and ramped up the pace, and it plummeted further on the penultimate climb, of Six Mile Hill.
The last of the escapees were finally caught on the lower slopes of the final climb to Haytor and, shortly after, Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox) initiated a spurt of attacks from the bunch with a short-lived burst.
Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and Quintana (Movistar) both also tried and failed with attacks, but their moves served to thin down the peloton to just nine contenders entering the final 2km.
Wiggins led them under the 1km-to-go banner and then, with 400m to go, Team Sky's David Lopez launched a bid for glory. However, Yates responded with a ruthless counter and flew past the Spaniard on his way to a two-second win.
Stage six result
1 Simon Yates (GB) Great Britain, 3:23:43
2 Martin Elmiger (Sui) IAM Cycling, +2secs
3 David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky, same time
4 Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka, +5
5 Sebastien Reichenbach (Sui) IAM Cycling, st
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +7
7 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, st
8 Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox, +12
9 Marcel Wyss (Sui) IAM Cycling, st
10 Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Sojasun, +31
1 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, 24:10:55
2 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling, +32secs
3 Simon Yates (GB) Great Britain, +1:06
4 David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky, +1:08
5 Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka, +1:16
6 Jack Bauer (NZ) Garmin-Sharp, +1:19
7 Ian Stannard (GB) Team Sky, +1:34
8 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +1:36
9 Sebastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling, +1:42
10 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +1:56
- Blue and white jersey (points classification): Martin Elmiger (Swe) IAM Cycling
- Green polka dot jersey (mountains classification): Angel Madrazo (Movistar)
- Green and red jersey (intermediate sprints competition): Angel Madrazo (Movistar)