Tour of Britain: England's Alex Dowsett moves into overall lead

Alex Dowsett
Alex Dowsett won individual time trial gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

England's Alex Dowsett moved into the overall lead at the Tour of Britain after finishing second to Matthias Brandle on the sixth stage.

Essex-born Dowsett, 25, began the 205.6km run from Bath to Hemel Hempstead one minute 25 seconds behind race leader Michal Kwiatkowski in the general classification.

However, he got in the breakaway group along with Brandle and Tom Stewart.

Defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins dropped to seventh, 62 seconds behind.

Movistar rider Dowsett collected 12 bonus seconds after finishing runner-up on the stage and also winning two intermediate sprints, meaning he has a 34-second lead over second-placed Kwiatkowski.

Matthias Brandle
Austria's Matthias Brandle clinched his second successive stage victory

Italy's Edoardo Zardini is 40 seconds behind in third.

Dowsett, Brandle and Stewart went clear after 50km of racing, eventually building up an advantage of more than five minutes over the peloton.

An expected pursuit of the leading trio failed to materialise, and their lead was still over three minutes with 15km remaining.

Dowsett opted not to contest Brandle for the stage victory on the final straight, with his position as overall leader assured.

"I spoke to Matthias and we made an agreement he would go for the stage because I knew there was a good chance I would take yellow and it was a risk I was willing to take," Dowsett told ITV.

Saturday's seventh stage runs for 225.1km from Camberley to Brighton.

What will happen on stage seven?
Tour of Britain stage seven map
"We are on or near the coast for much of the stage so wind could be a factor. It's the longest stage, with narrow roads and it comes at the end of a tough week. The two category one ascents near the finish rule out the sprinters and it will be quite a select group at the finish. The downhill run into Brighton ensures it will be a quick finish and one I'll be targeting."Read Ben Swift's guide to all nine stages

Stage 6 result:

1. Matthias Brandle (Aut/IAM) 4hrs 44mins 49secs

2. Alex Dowsett (GB/Movistar) +1sec

3. Thomas Stewart (GB/Madison Genesis) same time

4. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita/Bardiani CSF) +1min 51secs

5. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita/Bardiani CSF) same time

6. Ben Swift (GB/Team Sky) same time

7. Martin Kohler (Sui/BMC Racing Team) same time

8. Heinrich Haussler (Aus/IAM) same time

9. Rick Zabel (Ger/BMC) same time

10. Tom Veelers (Ned/Team Giant-Shimano) same time

Overall classification after stage 6:

1. Alex Dowsett (GB/Movistar) 25hrs 7mins 53secs

2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) +34secs

3. Edoardo Zardini (Ita/Bardiani) +40secs

4. Nicolas Roche (Irl/Tinkoff-Saxo)+50secs

5. Dylan Teuns (Bel/BMC) +51secs

6. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa/Movistar) 60secs

7. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Team Sky) +62secs

8. David Lopez Garcia (Spa/Team Sky) +64secs

9. Leopold Konig (Cze/NetApp-Endura) +66secs

10. Sebastien Reichenbach (Swi/IAM) same time