Steve Cummings defended his hold on the Yellow Jersey presented by Eisberg, taking fourth place in the morning half of the Bristol Stage presented by OVO Energy, the Alpecin Time Trial, behind stage winner Tony Martin.

Three-time World Champion Martin led the way with a time of 18-minutes and 6-seconds around the Bristol that circuit that just shaded 15-kilometres, heading home BMC Racing’s Rohan Dennis by three-seconds.

Speaking afterwards, the Etixx Quick-Step rider said; 

“In this peloton you have the world’s best time trialists, so it really makes it special for me. It’s also my first victory in the Tour of Britain, so it’s definitely a victory to remember.

“The course was really nice but the rain and wet roads made it a little bit dangerous because you have to fight for every second.

“I did a good recon and knew the corners quite well so knew how fast I could go, so for me it was fine.  I didn’t really expect to be going so fast as the week has been quite hard for us, we had the jersey until yesterday and had to work a lot, so I didn’t feel fresh.

“But sometimes when you don’t expect a good performance you do even better, so I’m really happy.  It’s my first international victory of the year so gives me a lot of morale.”

Unsurprisingly it was the General Classification contenders who led the way in the Alpecin Time Trial behind Martin, with Dennis and Team Giant Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin second and third, just ahead of Cummings to narrowly reduce the Brit’s overnight lead.

For full results and standings following Stage 7a please click here.

Cummings now holds a 38-second lead over the pair, with Tony Gallopin fourth at just over a minute and 2014 Tour of Britain winner Dylan Van Baarle in fifth at 1-minute 21-seconds. 

Dumoulin also moved into the lead of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey thanks to his third spot, with a seven point lead over Cummings.

Riders will contest a six lap circuit race to complete the Bristol Stage presented by OVO Energy, starting from 1430, with live coverage on ITV4 between 1400 and 1700.