American Robin Carpenter won the second stage of the Tour of Britain in Exeter ahead of home riders Ethan Hayter and Alex Peters to take the overall race lead after a breakaway effort through Devon.
Monday’s 184 kilometres from Sherford to Exeter took in three categorised climbs, the final ascent heading up to Warren House Inn on Dartmoor before a finish in the city centre on Queen Street.
Belgian Wout Van Aert had secured the opening stage victory for Jumbo-Visma after an uphill sprint in Bodmin, but the peloton was left too much ground to make up to reel back Monday’s breakaway pack.
Rally Cycling rider Carpenter was in the group to make an early move, alongside Britain’s Jacob Scott (Canyon-dhb-SunGod), Nicolas Sessler (Global 6), Leon Mazzone (Saint Pirin) and Will Bjergfelt (SwiftCarbon).
The 29-year-old pulled ahead of Scott with around 25km to go as he set out on a long trek down towards the finish.
There was then some hard work from Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck-Quick-Step to push the chase on as Carpenter’s advantage was cut to under three minutes with 10km to go.
The American, though, had enough left in the tank to keep himself clear heading into Exeter.
Carpenter pushed on to finish 33 seconds ahead of Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) and Peters (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling).
The battling display saw Carpenter become the first American to win a stage on the Tour of Britain and moved him clear at the top of the general classification standings, with a lead of 22 seconds over Van Aert.
Hayter now sits third, some 26 seconds adrift, with Spaniard Gonzalo Serrano (Movistar) fourth alongside Peters.
Scott holds both the king of the mountains and the sprints jersey, while Hayter has the points jersey.
Stage three will see a time trial over 18.2km, which starts in Llandeilo and heads to the National Botanic Garden of Wales on Tuesday.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe