Pen y Pass sort of does its job in the Tour of Britain

I said that Pen y Pass could prove a good point at which to attack. Being as the stage finished in a bunch sprint, you might think this didn’t happen, but it was actually a small barrage of attacks on the climb which led to that sprint. Prior to that, it looked for all the world like the break was going to stay away.

First Dan Martin toddled off, Nairo Quintana on his wheel, just as on Honister Pass. However, Bradley Wiggins immediately velcroed himself to Quintana’s wheel. These guys weren’t going anywhere without him. The other Sky riders temporarily disappeared, but Brad appears to have set his mind on winning this Tour of Britain and it was good to see a bit of grit.

Grit and velcro. It’s what cycling’s all about.

I don’t know whether Martin’s was a proper attack or whether he was stretching things out so that his team-mate, fourth-placed Jack Bauer, could attack. Knowing Martin it was probably one and then failing that, the other. He likes a bit of chaos – he’s kind of the anti-Wiggins in that respect. Bauer got a bit of a gap, but the peloton was belting along on the descent and soon caught him up again. Then they caught the break with about a kilometre to go. All-in-all, it was another very entertaining stage in what is proving to be an excellent race.

Sprint finishes being sprint finishes, Mark Cavendish won.

Stage five

It’s double Caerphilly day. No, it’s not a cheese blend. They’re going up Caerphilly Mountain twice in the last few kilometres after first scaling two other first category climbs – Cwm Owen and then Brecon Beacons. The finish should see a few challenges for Wiggins, who is looking a dangerously healthy weight and so won’t be as fleet uphill as he was last year.