Max Stedman overcame an early scare to finish a fantastic ninth on the queen stage of the Tour of Britain.
The Canyon Eisberg climber once again underlined his potential as he wrestled with some of the world’s best on the summit finish of Whinlatter Pass on Friday afternoon.
He crossed the line just 21 seconds adrift of stage winner Wout Poels as Quick-Step Floors’ Julian Alaphilippe rode into the leader’s jersey.
Alaphilippe now leads Poels by 17 seconds in the general classification, with Stedman up to 21st at 2min 42sec.
Stage six was far from straightforward for the Canyon Eisberg talent, though.
Stedman had an early scare when a cross-headwind split the bunch as they raced out of Barrow-in-Furness.
The 22-year-old had Canyon Eisberg team-mate Alex Paton for company as around 30 riders were distanced by more than a minute along the exposed coastline.
However, when a four-man breakaway finally escaped the clutches of the peloton, the pace eased and the chasing group managed to regain contact.
Up front Team Katusha-ALPECIN’s Tony Martin, Connor Swift, of Madison Genesis, Team Sky’s Vasil Kiryienka and Lotto Soudal’s James Shaw edged away.
A chase group quickly formed, with Rory Townsend among those to jump away in a bid to bridge the gap, but ultimately it was to no avail.
British national champion Swift took maximum points on all four categorised climbs prior to the summit finish.
He also bagged the intermediate sprint in Cockermouth after Shaw had rolled across the line first in Ambleside.
The break had not gone clear when the race reached the opening prime of the day in the market town of Ulverston.
Alaphilippe pinched the points and three bonus seconds there to edge closer to race leader Roglic at the top of the general classification.
With 15km of the stage remaining, the four-man breakaway held an advantage of a minute and that had been cut to 45 seconds with 10km to go.
The fight was on for position back in the main bunch on the run-in to the final climb of Whinlatter, which accounted for the final 3.5km.
Swift led on to the climb but the escapees were quickly swept up by the peloton, led by Katusha-ALPECIN.
Bob Jungels then put the hammer down for his Quick-Step team-mate Alaphilippe, forcing a selection at the front of the race.
Alaphilippe attacked with 2km to go and Roglic followed before Hugh Carthy, of Education First Drapac, bridged across to form a leading trio.
Roglic cracked with 1.4km remaining and Alaphilippe saw his chance to kick on as Poels gradually rode across the gap.
The trio reached the flamme rouge together but it was the Team Sky man who was the strongest at the finish.
Seconds later Stedman, who had been superbly protected by Ryan Christensen, Andrew Tennant, Dexter Gardias, Paton and Townsend, emerged from the crowds to deliver an eyecatching result for both himself and the team.