Alex Dowsett admitted he had given his all as he produced a remarkable performance on stage six of the Tour of Britain to take the leader’s jersey.
Dowsett began the day one minute and 25 seconds adrift of the overall lead but broke away early with stage five winner Matthias Brandle and Madison Genesis’ Tom Stewart.
The trio went on to build a lead of over nine minutes before surviving a breakneck chase in the final kilometres.
Brandle took the stage victory with Dowsett cross the line second, leaving the Commonwealth Games time trial champion 34 seconds ahead of the morning’s leader Michal Kwiatkowski.
"That was the hardest day of my life,” Dowsett said. “I got into the break and I knew it would be a headwind all day so kind of just thought it would be 'let us out, bring us back' and that would be that.
"But when the gap went up to seven minutes I thought, 'that's quite big', then it went eight minutes, nine minutes, and then that's when I really started digging in.
"I made an agreement with Matthias (Brandle) that he'd win the stage because there was a good chance I'd take the yellow - it was a risk I was willing to take and he gave me everything there.
"I couldn't have done it without him. Tom from Madison probably had one of the hardest days of his life. He gave everything he could and I'm grateful to him and Roger in the car as well.
"I'll give it everything I've got. Kwiatkowsi - Ditching Beacon tomorrow. Kwiatkowski's going like a train so I'm just going to have to rest up as much as I can and give it my all tomorrow.
"It's far from over but I'm in a nice position for it."
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