All images ©CyclingShorts.cc / Craig Zadoroznyj
Words by Anna Magrath
187km in length
Victory for the sprinters!
The unpredictable weather didn’t put a dampener on the first stage of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire. The tough day culminated in a crowd pleasing sprint finish on the streets of Settle in glorious sunshine.
Olympian Rebecca Romero waved the riders off in Beverley town centre for the processional start, as the riders were finding their legs there was a pile up mid peloton, a Team Katusha rider face planting on a cattle grid with a tangle of riders on top of him, all but the the rider in red Sven Erik Bystrom made it back up.
The race proper got underway at Beverley Racecourse on the outskirts of the town. The attack came quickly, after his less than successful social media week Pete Kennaugh decided to redeem himself by taking it upon himself to push hard on the front for Team Sky to try to reel the six riders in (Pete Williams OneProCycling, Graham Briggs JLT Condor, Nils Pollit Katusha Cycling, Matt Cronshaw Madison Genesis, Jens Wallays Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Sebastian Mora Team Raleigh GAC) escaping down the road and taking a good 1 minute 30 seconds out of the peloton without too much effort. The bunch let them yo-yo for the majority of the race with the group taking a 5 minute lead. They mopped up the first sprint points and the Kom’s with Skipton rider Williams taking the King of the Mountain maximum points and Mora winning the sprint.
Pete Williams had no intention of giving up the fight and after being caught he still tried to fight back but to no avail.
The route took riders through the Wolds, snaking through a sea of yellow and blue decorations to Tadcaster and into the Yorkshire Dales for an exciting finish in Settle. Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands, riding with Lotto NL Jumbo, took the win.
Just like for the Tour de France in 2014 and the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in 2015, Yorkshire truly embraced the spirit of cycling, with towns and villages decked out in banners, bunting and bikes with crowds roaring as the peloton whizzed past.
On their way the riders passed many of the amazing land art installations created by local communities with designs at the top of the Cote de Greenhow Hill and Kelfield.
Action started to hot up at 15km to go, as One Pro Cycling, Orica GreenEdge and Team Sky began to mobilise their sprint trains but not long after, two French riders attacked; Turgis and Voeckler made a perfectly timed break to escape from the bunch. Aided by a tailwind, the French held their gap before British rider Steve Cummings caught the pair, breaking away on his own at 3km to go attempting to time trial to the finish. Cummings extended his gap on the final run into Settle before sitting up and being swallowed by the pack.
From there the technical finish created a fast paced sprint, with Lotto NL Jumbo placing Groenewegen well for the win with Orica GreenEdge’s Caleb Ewan narrowly missing first.
Sir Gary Verity congratulated winner Dylan Groenewegen and praised the people of Yorkshire for their support for the race. He said: “Wow what a day for Yorkshire! The way that thousands of people came out to support the Tour de Yorkshire was just incredible. It is testament to true Yorkshire grit that the weather failed to dampen the spirits of the crowds with people of all ages – from school children to the elderly – cheering on the riders throughout the entire race. It was moving to see.
“The atmosphere at the start in Beverley was just electric and the excitement and energy continued throughout the communities lining the route all the way to the magnificent crowd at the finish in Settle. Yorkshire you should be proud! We promised to deliver a terrific event and the people of the county have helped us do just that. We can’t wait for another two days of exhilarating racing ahead”
Tomorrow’s stage marks an important landmark for women’s racing as world champion Lizzie Armitstead will line up on the start line in her home town for the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, alongside Great Britain teammate Emma Pooley, as well as Rio hopeful Dani King. One of the world’s top sprinters Kirsten Wild will also join a host of top flight international and domestic riders including our very own Team Jadan-Weldtite (Yorkshire based team) for the race which takes place over the exact same course as the men’s, is fully televised and at the time of racing has the largest prize pot in the world of any women’s race.
1 – Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
2 – Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3 – Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
4 – Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
5 – Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
6 – Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team
7 – Christopher Lawless (GBr) JLT Condor
8 – Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling
9 – Dion Smith (NZl) ONE Pro Cycling
10 – Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
For all race information, results & images visit www.letouryorkshire.com
Being Yorkshire born and bred, I may be slightly biased, but this is the most beautiful and definitely the best county in the UK… All four corners of the county will be putting on a show for the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire this weekend. We can look forward to some of the best British and international cycling talent taking to the roads over three challenging stages. Today the cycling kicked off with an outing from Bridlington to Scarborough.
Kittel less than happy with Cote de Dalby Forest – Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc
The stage got underway in seaside town of Bridlington the route passed through spectacular coastal scenery and the iconic North York Moors landscapes with no less than five King of the Mountains (KoM) peaks and two sprint opportunities along the course.
The teams rode along the Flamborough Head Heritage Coast before turning away from the coast into the North York Moors National Park, through Dalby Forest hitting the first KoM of the day at the Cote de Dalby Forest and this first test seemed to take it’s toll on some of the riders. Sprinter Marcel Kittel became unhitched from the main peloton and found himself in a small group as he zipped up his top to descend the climb. His face said it all, but he wasn’t the only rider disliking the Yorkshire hills.
Team Sky were dominant from early on in the race after reeling in a breakaway that held a lead of 3 minutes. Sky controlled the peloton until they hit the recently drizzled roads of Egton and Grosmont. The Team Sky train appeared not to adjust their descending style to match the wet conditions and slid across the road at the start of the drop.
In doing so they took out a number of other teams riders behind them. Ben Swift of Team Sky went down heavily and subsequently had to retire from the race. The riding became a little more tentative as teams got themselves back on each others wheels. The lack of race radio did mean riders had to be more team aware, though none of the riders up front would have known of the retirements behind them. Team Sky were now down to 4 riders on the front of the peloton and less able to control the situation. One rider took advantage of the chaos at the front, on the penultimate slope of the day; the Cote de Briggswath, the Europcar rider Perrig Quemeneur went out on his own and made the most of it by mopping us some more sprint points.
The race took a spectacular journey back to the coast at Whitby. By the time they reached Robin Hood’s Bay Quemeneur had been caught and a sizeable group of around 15 riders including; Voeckler, Sanchez and two Team Sky riders. Steve Cummings got caught out by the break and furiously tried to get up to them to no avail. Over the crest of the Cote de Robin Hood’s Bay 15 had been whittled down to 5 riders with a lead of over 30 seconds, they had over a minute back to the peloton. The splinter group contained some dangerous riders; Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing Team), Stephane Rossato (Cofidis Solutions Credits), Philip Diegnan & Lars-Petter Nordhaug (both Team Sky). Initially the two French riders (Voeckler and Rossato) seemed to work together to test and attempt to break the Sky riders.
Lars-Petter Nordhaug wins Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire 2015 – Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc
Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc
The race ended in the ultimate sprint finish on the seafront at Scarborough, the five riders went down to the line with Team Sky using team tactics with a one-two attack. Rossetto showed he had more in the tank starting the sprint lead out, he was overtaken by Nordhaug with Voeckler on his tail. A thrilling end to what looks to be an unpredictable Tour.
Perrig Quemeneur took the Pink Climbers Jersey and the Grey Most Aggressive Rider which is voted for by the public via Twitter, unfortunately for Eddie Dunbar he won the vote but was caught up in the crash and had to retire. So the jersey passed to Quemeneur.
Results after Stage 1
1.NOR NORDHAUG Lars-Petter 16 TEAM SKY 04h 22′ 28”
2.FRA VOECKLER Thomas 71 TEAM EUROPCAR 04h 22′ 32”+ 00′ 04”
3.FRA ROSSETTO Stéphane 97 COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS 04h 22′ 34”+ 00′ 06”
4.ESP SANCHEZ Samuel 36 BMC RACING TEAM 04h 22′ 38”+ 00′ 10”
5.IRL DEIGNAN Philip 13 TEAM SKY 04h 22′ 38”+ 00′ 10”
6.FRA TURGIS Anthony 98 COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS 04h 23′ 46”+ 01′ 18”
7.BEL VAN AVERMAET Greg 31 BMC RACING TEAM 04h 23′ 48”+ 01′ 20”
8.GBR ROWSELL Erick 146 MADISON GENESIS 04h 23′ 48”+ 01′ 20”
9.GBR HANDLEY Richard 135 JLT CONDOR 04h 23′ 48”+ 01′ 20”
10.NED DUYN Huub 103 ROOMPOT ORANJE PELOTON 04h 23′ 48”+ 01′ 20”
Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel have been confirmed as two of the stars who will take part in the first ever Tour de Yorkshire. The 2012 Tour de France winner will lead his own Team WIGGINS developmental squad while the German sprinter will return to Yorkshire a year after wearing the first yellow jersey in Harrogate at the Tour de France 2014.
At Welcome to Yorkshire’s Y15 annual conference in Scarborough the race organisers, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) and Welcome to Yorkshire, announced the teams which will be taking part. It was revealed that the new race has attracted significant interest from teams, following the massive crowds and challenging terrain which combined in July last year to make it a spectacular Grand Départ of the Tour de France.
Under UCI regulations as a 2.1 stage race, the Tour de Yorkshire has selected a field from five WorldTeams, six Professional Continental Teams, four Continental Teams and a Great Britain National Team.
©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc
In total, seven of the teams who raced in the Tour de France are returning to Yorkshire’s roads, and will be joined by an exciting mix of European and home-grown talent. British cycling fans are expected to be delighted at the inclusion of top teams such as Team Sky and brand new Team WIGGINS.
The WorldTeams making a return to Yorkshire following the Tour de France, are: Team Sky, Team Giant-Alpecin, BMC Racing Team, Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, and IAM Cycling.
The Professional Continental Teams are: Cofidis Solutions Credits, Team Europcar (who both raced in July 2014), MTN-Qhubeka, Cult Energy Pro Cycling, Roompot Oranje Peloton, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.
Continental level teams are: Team WIGGINS, NFTO, ONE Pro Cycling and Madison Genesis. The GB National Team will also field eight riders.
Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, said: “We will be glad to return to Yorkshire after the huge success of the Tour de France 2014 Grand Départ, the grandest ever. The first ever Tour de Yorkshire will be another occasion to showcase the outstanding landscapes of the county, especially of the coast which we didn’t visit last year with Le Tour. Tour de Yorkshire will be a great opportunity to review young talents among British riders and enable them to ride with top Tour de France professional teams and cycling stars like Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel.”
It is now up to teams to decide their 8 riders for the race, over a route which was unveiled by Jean Etienne Amaury from ASO in Bridlington in January. The three stages are each quite different, with a punchy route for 174km of Stage One from Bridlington to Scarborough; a tactically important sprinter’s day on Stage Two from Selby to York over another 174km, and a return to some of the climbs and challenges of the Grand Départ as the third day takes riders 167km from Wakefield to Leeds on 3 May.
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said; “Today is a landmark moment for Yorkshire and it is a credit to every single person who played a role in the Grand Départ – whether they were a spectator, a rider, a Tour Maker – that we have attracted such a high calibre of teams to this first edition of our new race. The start and finish towns for the Tour de Yorkshire and everybody who has already picked out where they will watch on the day, and now, every member of these teams, will experience one of the greatest sports events in the UK in 2015.”
Riders will be selected by the teams and announced in April. Stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire, on Friday 1st May, will start in Bridlington and finish in Scarborough. Stage two, on Saturday 2nd May, will start in Selby and finish in York and stage three, on Sunday 3rd May, will start in Wakefield and finish in Leeds.
The Tour de Yorkshire will be shown live on television in the UK, on British Eurosport and ITV, as well as to 70 countries around the world with a huge television audience expected.
Maps of the routes, timings and information for spectators can be found at; letouryorkshire.com/routemaps
A women’s race of four 20km laps of a York circuit will be held on day two of the race, Saturday 2nd May. Team and riders will be announced in April and one of the first major names confirmed as taking part is Dame Sarah Storey, one of Great Britain’s most decorated female Paralympians in history having won 11 Gold, eight Silver and three Bronze medals across six Paralympic Games. In 2014 Sarah and her husband established women’s team Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, which dominated the UK domestic racing scene in their first season and, it has been announced today, will be racing the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire.
Adam Blythe won a battle of the Brits to win the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic in central London today beating his old friend and sparring partner Ben Swift in a dramatic sprint finish on The Mall.
The two Sheffield-born cyclists were part of a five-strong group that screamed up Whitehall and under Admiralty Arch after 200 kilometres of hard racing over the wet and muddy roads of the Surrey Hills.
Team Cannondale’s Slovenian rider Kristijan Koren led them up The Mall with the finish line and Buckingham Palace in the distance. But Blythe launched his attack with 50 metres to go, surprising Swift, Team Sky’s pre-race favourite, to take a hard-earned victory for the unfancied NFTO Procycling team.
Blythe threw his arms in the air as he crossed the line, a roar of triumph breaking out from his mud-spattered face.
“It’s hard to say how much this means to me,” said Blythe afterwards. “But you could see how emotional it was as my face said it all.”
“OK, it’s not like I won the worlds or anything, but this is very big race for a British rider to win, especially in this setting in front of the Queen’s house. I hope she was watching.”
Swift was one the race favourites and appeared to be in a perfect position to show his famed finishing speed after five Sky teammates, including 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins, had worked hard in the middle part of the race to get him into a breakaway group.
“It would have been nice to have won but I am really happy with second,” said Swift. “I’ve known Adam since I was seven years old and we’ve got a lot of history, so I knew he was the one to watch.”
“I knew I needed to keep an eye on him and I could see he was looking for me on the run-in. I tried to react to his move but he’s a really fast sprinter and once he got the jump on me he was away.”
Koren’s challenge faded as the two Britons raced away and Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe took third for Omega Pharma-Quick-Step ahead of Philippe Gilbert, Belgium’s former world champion from the BMC Racing Team.
Seventy kilometres earlier it was Gilbert who had made the decisive move of the race on the approach to Box Hill.
There had been a number of early attacks from the 147-man field as the riders set off under the welcome warming sun, which had moved in to replace the morning deluge.
The first significant break came in Richmond Park after 13km when six riders got away and established a gap of just over a minute, an advantage they held through the early stretches out into Surrey’s narrow country roads, many of them still smeared with rain wash.
Wiggins and teammate Ian Stannard did much of the work as Sky took control of the peloton, their intention to close the gap and get Swift into contention for any later break. The plan worked perfectly, and when Gilbert made his move, Swift was one of 10 men who leapt to his wheel.
As Sky stepped off the gas, Cannondale were forced to do the bulk of the work at the front of the chasing group as they tried to get their sprinter Elia Viviani back in touch. But with less 50km to go the leading 11 had stretched their gap to more than a minute and it began to look as if they would never be caught.
They charged down Headley Heath and into Leatherhead, Gilbert and Swift keeping the pressure on at the front. Then Gilbert attacked again between Raynes Park and Wimbledon, splitting the group and dragging five clear of the rest.
The Belgian appeared to be on a mission to win with a long run for home and another kick briefly took him and Alaphilippe away from Swift and Blythe with Koren in tow behind.
But the trio closed the gap by the time they reached Putney High Street and it was five riders who crossed Putney Bridge for the run alongside the River Thames towards Westminster.
At this point it looked like anyone’s race, though the smart money was on Swift. Blythe had other ideas, however, and he timed his final push to perfection.
“In the last kilometre I knew I had plenty in the tank,” he said afterwards. “I just wanted to make sure I got everything out and didn’t leave it too late to make my move.”
“I knew that if I was close to Swifty I’d have a chance. I hugged close to the barriers and had a go. Now I feel like I can mix it with the big boys.”
Two of the early breakaway riders won the day’s other honours. Steve Lampier of Node4 Velosure made it a great day for British cycling by claiming the King of the Mountains title, while Dutchman Steven Lammertink, Team Giant-Shimano’s stagiaire, won the sprint contest.
It was Blythe, however, who won the most important sprint of the day.