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.