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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 September 2006, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Cavendish second on dramatic day
Briton Mark Cavendish was runner-up for the second day in a row as Francesco Chicchi won a dramatic fifth stage of the Tour of Britain.

Chicchi, of the QuickStep team, came home ahead of Cavendish in a sprint finish in Canterbury.

Aart Vierhouten was third while Martin Pedersen retains the overall lead.

Earlier, the riders refused to leave the peloton in protest at being kept waiting after being sent the wrong way in the neutral zone.

I am fully aware, as a British rider, our sponsors are touch and go as it is

Roger Hammond

The protest lasted for most of the 152km stage, which ran from Rochester to Canterbury, although they did begin racing later on.

"It is a sign from the teams that things have to improve," said QuickStep-Innergetic manager Wilfred Peeters.

The route through Kent was intended as a dry run for the 2007 Tour de France which will start in London before a second stage finishing in Canterbury.

But there was dissent among the ranks of cyclists over the nature of the protest, with Great Britain team leader Roger Hammond particularly unhappy.

The 32-year-old disagreed with the protest and also criticised the conduct of his peers who, having decided they were not going to race, then sprinted for the finishing line.

Peeters denied his team had led the revolt but QuickStep's Tom Boonen chased down an attempt by Hammond's young Great Britain team-mate Ben Swift to break away.

Boonen's fellow QuickStep rider Francesco Chicchi then benefited from the confusion to claim stage victory.

"'Swifty' went off and Boonen went after him and pulled him back by the seat post," said Hammond.

"I heard Tom say they were not going to sprint but I guess Chicchi had other ideas.

"For the British teams, this is our race.

"We only have six days of it and to lose a day is quite a big thing and I am fully aware, as a British rider, our sponsors are touch and go as it is."

Stage five result:

1 Francesco Chicchi (It) QuickStep-Innergetic 4hrs 24mins 42secs
2 Mark Cavendish (GB) T-Mobile
3 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Skil-Shimano
4 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
5 Russell Downing (GB) DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed all same time

General classification:

1 Martin Pedersen (Den) CSC 19hrs 50mins 43secs
2 Luis Pasamontes (Sp) at 51 secs
3 Filippo Pozzato (It) QuickStep-Innergetic at 2mins 11 secs
4 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile at 2mins 46secs
5 Nick Nuyens (Bel) QuickStep-Innergetic at 2mins 47secs

Two Britons make it on to podium
01 Sep 06 |  Cycling
Pozzato claims win in Sheffield
31 Aug 06 |  Cycling
Hammond claims stage two victory
30 Aug 06 |  Cycling
Pedersen edges opening stage win
29 Aug 06 |  Cycling
Tour of Britain stage guide
28 Aug 06 |  Cycling
Tour of Britain on the BBC
17 Aug 06 |  Cycling

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