Team Columbia's Edvald Boasson Hagen won his second consecutive stage at the Tour of Britain on Thursday. The young Norwegian won stage five with a late attack from the five-rider breakaway that dominated the stage after getting into the move with the help of his team-mates.
Italy's Danilo Di Luca (Team LPR) and Australia's Matt Goss (Team CSC - Saxo Bank) and Travis Meyer (South Australia.com-AIS) sparked the early break. Team Columbia was not represented in the move, so the boys in blue went to the front and chased, narrowing the gap to 15 seconds so that Boasson Hagen could jump across. When he made it with Rock Racing's Victor Hugo Peña for company, the bunch let them go, and the five knew they would go on to fight for the stage victory.
The final 30km of the stage included three short but steep climbs in the heart of Dalby Forest in the North York Moors. Di Luca attacked on the second climb with 12km to go but was caught on the descent to the finish. Peña made a late move two kilometres out but when he was pulled back Boasson Hagen surged clear 700 metres from the finish and won by four seconds.
"My teammates made a huge effort to get me up to the break, and so I have to thank them. We don't have anyone up high in the overall classification and so we worked hard to make sure I was up there," Boasson Hagen said.
"Me and Goss worked together to get Di Luca back on the climb. Peña attacked, so Goss and Di Luca chased him and then I made a counter attack with about 700 metres to go. I suppose late attacks are becoming my specialty," said Hagen.
France's Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) kept the overall race lead, six seconds ahead of Britain's Steve Cummings.
Friday's 156km stage six will run from Darlington to Gateshead near Newcastle in the northeast of England. The stage includes two early climbs but is likely to end in a sprint, meaning Boasson Hagen has a great chance of taking a third consecutive victory.