The Tour of Britain in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire- The latest race news, route and road closure information
TODAY the Tour of Britain passed through Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire for the fifth stage of the race.
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The stage, which started at Trentham Gardens and finished in Hanley, was won by the Dutch United Healthcare team rider Marc De Maar in a time of 3 hours 30 minutes and 26 seconds.
Maar broke away from the leading pack, which included Sep Vanmarcke, Boy Van Poppel, Nathan Haas, and Australian Leigh Howard, who all finished fifteen seconds behind him.
The morning gold jersey wearer after his stage win yesterday was the 2011 world road race champion and Team Sky rider Mark Cavendish, but he finished more than three minutes back in the main group, which also included Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins.
Leigh Howard of the Orica-GreenEDGE team has now inherited the leader's gold jersey.
Along the route thousands of fans turned out to cheer on the riders and social media was soon awash with pictures of the race.
On their 150km journey to the finish line the cyclists passed through Stone, Stafford, Cannock, Rugeley, and Uttoxeter, before entering the last stretch on Old Hall Street in Hanley.
The route included sprint stages in Stone, Uttoxeter and Rocester, as well as punishing hill climbs at Glacial Boulder in Cannock Chase and Oakamoor Moorside and Gun Hill in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
There were several road closures throughout the day but most were rolling and have now been lifted.