Travelling from the west to the east coast, the bunch were faced with a tough day in the hills of northern England, and a 198 kilometre long route from Carlisle to Gateshead. It was a fierce start to the stage with multiple attacks and after a hard-fought 30 kilometres local rider and Penrith born, Mark Donovan, made it into the group of nine. Initially getting a gap of one minute and 30 seconds, the rest of the breakaway wasn’t happy with Donovan being present in the group and he eventually returned to the bunch alongside Hollyman.
The remaining seven rider breakaway pushed on over the hills, extending their gap to almost four minutes. Entering the last 60 kilometres the team came to the fore, with Tim Naberman riding strongly on the front of the bunch alongside some other teams to slowly reel in the breakaway. Pulling off at 25 kilometres to go, Naberman and the rest of the chasers had cut the gap to just over one minute, and heading into the last 15 kilometres it was all back together.
On one of the final uncategorised climbs an infernal pace was set and several attacks were made at the front of the peloton with a group of ten riders going clear. Donovan, Nicholas Roche and Romain Combaud formed part of the reduced chasing bunch but over the rolling terrain the strong attacking group held on to fight for the win, with the Team DSM trio following home within the bunch, ten seconds in arrears. Tomorrow sees the race head into Scotland for the penultimate stage of the event.