REUTERS: Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel reclaimed the lead at the Tour of Britain during Thursday's sixth stage in Worcestershire after finishing sixth in the individual time trial.
Van der Poel, who lost the lead on Wednesday, is now six seconds ahead of Italian Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton–Scott) in the general classification.
The Corendon–Circus cyclist finished 12 seconds behind stage winner Edoardo Affini of Italy, also with Mitchelton–Scott, who finished the 14.4 km stage in a time of 16 minutes, 39 seconds.
"It's a really close battle with Matteo and I think it's going to be a proper fight," Van der Poel told ITV Sport. "It was a long time ago when I did a time trial. I'm happy with the result."
Team INEOS' Pavel Sivakov is third in the overall standings, 24 seconds behind Van der Poel.
The penultimate stage on Thursday is a 188.7 km run that starts in Warwick and finishes in Burton Dassett Country Park.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)