After 4 days of heavy hard racing, Ollie's sat down and give us an update of how stage 5 went down.
Stage 5 saw us take in 6 laps of a fairly lumpy circuit from three cocks. This was described as the 'flat stage' and one for the sprinters but with one significant punchy climb and two other small spikes I'm not sure I agree. The race began with roughly a 3 mile neutralised zone as we went through the finish area so we were familiar with this due to the finish not being on the circuit, once we hit the circuit and were still neutralised till the main road this was where the flag was dropped.
A stinging attack from roughly 6 riders including the yellow jersey saw them establish worrying a lead of nearlyy a minute early in the race. This caused the peloton began to chase hard from behind. This break was finally reeled in after 2-3 laps and small breaks seemed to go off the front but nothing was managing to stick.
We took the bell (well...one ring of it after it broke in the chief commissaire's hand!) so this caused some confusion amongst the bunch as not everyone had heard the bell, but soon enough as the pace was lifted I'm sure everyone realised this was the final lap.
Half way around the last lap a break of two strong riders went clear and established a slender lead of 30 seconds, one of these men being from team midland, which sadly meant that two of his strong team mates would go to the front and ride at a pace that they knew would not bring him back however was hard enough for nobody else really wanting to take it up. Steve James did a very strong turn into the base of the hill for the final time and got just clear off the front and held it till half way up the climb where many riders went past him. Strong! The two off the front held the lead and eventually took the top two places after there was a rapidly gaining peloton coming up behind. Rob walker and I managed to stay well positioned coming into the final kilometre and I managed to get through a small gap and sprint to 10th with Rob sadly getting boxed in and coming in with the bunch just behind.
After the stage we drove up the dreaded tumble so we could mentally more so than physically prepare ourselves for what is to come tomorrow! It certainly will be a very tough finish to a hard 6 days of racing.
Ed: Ollie and Rob are only separated by 1 second on General Classification, so it's all down to the final stage! Today the double act of 'Copeh and Chippo' were joined by Julian Hucks (The rider on the left in the photo below) of SportsCover Direct, one of the club sponsors, to cheer the team on.