Tour of Britain: Renshaw wins stage five in Exmouth

Mark Renshaw (left) and Mark Cavendish (right)
Renshaw finished ahead of team-mate Cavendish in Exmouth

Mark Renshaw has won the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain, ahead of HTC-Highroad team-mate Mark Cavendish.

The bunch caught Europcar's Damien Gaudin in the closing stages, with the Highroad duo moving to the front.

On the final bend, Cavendish held back while Renshaw, who has set up many of the Manxman's wins and leaves for Rabobank next year, took the win.

"Thanks to the HTC-Highroad boys. Very happy to add a nice stage to my palmarès," said Renshaw on Twitterexternal-link.

The result helped Renshaw prove a point to Australian selectors who have left him out of the national squad for the World Road Championships in Copenhagen next week.

Thursday's stage took the riders 111.8 miles (180km) between Exeter and Exmouth.

Stage five was unique as it was the first to be held entirely within Devon since the Tour of Britain was revived in 2004. It is one of the toughest on the Tour with three high climbs for the riders over the Devon hills in the opening 60km.

Rapha Condor Sharp rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, in search of the King of the Mountains jersey, was the first to break away alongside Russell Hampton, who was only seven points ahead of Tiernan-Locke at the start of the day.

By the half-way mark the leading pack were almost six minutes ahead of the peloton, but the climbs had taken their toll and the group was soon caught.

Frenchman Gaudin tried to pull away once again in the closing stages but tired, allowing the sprinters to get back in touch for the run into Exmouth.

That result helped HTC-Highroad retain fifth place in the team competition, five minutes 35 seconds behind leaders Team Sky.

The result also left Cavendish 34 seconds behind leader Lars Boom in the overall general classification.

The riders leave Taunton on Friday for the 90.7mile (146km) sixth stage to Wells. The tour finishes in London on Sunday.

Stage five results, Exeter to Exmouth:

1) Mark Renshaw (Aus, HTC-Highroad) 4hrs 17min 38secs

2) Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC-Highroad) same time

3) Robert Forster (Ger, UnitedHealthcare) same time

4) Geraint Thomas (Wal, Team Sky) same time

5) Andrew Fenn (GB, An Post-Sean Kelly) same time

Overall general classification:

1) Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 16hrs 54min 29secs

2) Geraint Thomas (GB, Team Sky) +12 sec

3) Boy Van Poppel (Ned, UnitedHealthcare) +14 sec

4) Daniel Lloyd (GB, TeamGarmin-Cervelo) +16 sec

5) Linus Gerdemann (Ger, LeopardTrek) +17 sec