Wood Anemone The Churnet Valley - Tour of Britain 2009
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In 2009, stage 5 of the race cut through the Churnet Valley at Rocester and Cheddleton.

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At Rocester, the race followed the B5030 over the Churnet at the JCB World Headquarters. By this stage, a breakaway had formed, consisting of Dan Fleeman, Alan Marangoni and Darren Lapthorne.

Not far behind, Nicolas Vogondy was working hard to bridge the gap.

Meanwhile, Team Columbia was keeping the peloton moving along nicely in pursuit.

After Rocester, the riders climbed up to the moorlands around Leek, giving me plenty of time to switch my position across to Cheddleton.

By the time the lead group crossed the Churnet again in Cheddleton, Vogondy had caught up to join the leaders.

However, the peloton had also made progress and was now not far behind.

The valley sides are steep, here, and Cheddleton Hill was rated a category-3 climb.

The pace was too much for some stragglers, perhaps wishing they could stop for a pint in the Red Lion and ease their pains.

Once the road had reopened, I went home to watch the coverage on ITV4, in which I made my first-ever TV appearance.

In the last few kilometres through Stoke-on-Trent, the peloton caught up with the leading group and the Norwegian, Edvald Boasson Hagen, won the stage for Team Columbia. Boasson Hagen went on to win the race, bringing the yellow jersey into London on the following Saturday.