Tour de Yorkshire – Stage 2

Stage 2 TdY Finish - Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

Stage 2 TdY Finish – Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

The end of stage one of the tour resulted in a number of big names getting off the bike. Ben Swift with a right shoulder trauma, young Irish rider Eddie Dunbar sustaining the same injury but on his left side, both riders were casualties in the crash at the front of the peloton. We also saw the early retirement of Marcel Kittel who had only just returned from illness.

Stage 2 TdY Final Lap - Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

Stage 2 TdY Final Lap – Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

Stage two started with a large group going clear early in the day, with some quality riders involved including Bert de Backer (Giant-Alpecin), Andy Tennant (Team Wiggins), Mark McNally (Madison-Genesis) and Matt Brammeier (MTN-Qhubeka). The group built up a five minute lead which they held for quite some time. The job of reeling them in was left to the team of the GC leader Lars-Petter Nordhaug. Team Sky got to work. The lead group fragmented, the remains; McNally and De Backer put in an extra effort to stay away as the race arrived on the outskirts of York for the two lap finish. The attempt was looking successful until the final few kilometres of the last lap.

The pace lifted as Team Sky gained allies on the front of the peloton; IAM Cycling, NFTO, Roompot-Orange Peloton and One Pro Cycling, the race started to look more like an angry swarm of bees, as the riders were strung out behind the four teams.

Stage 2 TdY Podium - Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

Stage 2 TdY Podium – Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

In the meantime De Backer was showing his strength and he managed to shake off McNally. With just a few kilos to go it was looking less like he would manage a lone arrival at the finish, the peloton was closing in fast. As the the race reached the 2km marker the peloton were on his tail, they could smell a bunch sprint finish. Loic Chetout (Cofidis) attacked and pulled his way up to De Backer, this small victory was short-lived as the peloton came charging past at the Flame Rouge.

Greg van Avermaet had a dig and gapped the peloton for a moment but the final moments came down to Pelucchi and Hofland battling it out for the win. The Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider just pipped Pelucchi to the post. All the hard work of Team LottoNL-Jumbo this season finally paid off, their first win of the year!

The first British rider to reach the line in the sprint was Russ Downing (Cult Energy Pro Cycling) – a Yorkshireman too!

 

No change overall in the standings as Lars-Petter Nordhaug finished in the bunch.

Tour de Yorkshire 2015: stage two results

1) Moreno Hofland (NED) – Team LottoNL-Jumbo – 3.57.58hrs
2) Matteo Pelucchi (ITA) – IAM Cycling – ST
3) Roman Sinkeldam (NED) – Giant-Alpecin
4) Jempy Drucker (NED) – BMC Racing
5) Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – Roompot Orange Peloton
6) Andre Looij (NED) – Roompot Orange Peloton
7) Russ Downing (GBR) – Cult Energy Pro Cycling
8) Andreas Stauff (GER) – MTN-Qhubeka
9) Harry Tanfield (GBR) – Condor-JLT
10) Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL) – Topsport-Vlaanderen Baloise

General classification

1) Lars-Petter Nordhaug (NOR) – Team Sky – 8.20.26hrs
2) Samuel Sanchez (ESP) – BMC Racing +10”
3) Thomas Voeckler (FRA) – Team Europcar – ST
4) Stephane Rossetto (FRA) – Cofidis +12”
5) Philip Deignan (IRL) – Team Sky +16”
6) Anthony Turgis (FRA) – Cofidis +1.18
7) Greg van Avermaet (BEL) – BMC Racing +1.20
8) Erick Rowsell (GBR) – Madison-Genesis – ST
9) Ben Hermans (BEL) – BMC Racing +1.23
10) Richard Handley (GBR) – JLT-Condor +1.26

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 2 Image Gallery

All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

 

Tour De Yorkshire 2015 | Selby to York – Stage 2

Stage 2 Classification:
1) Moreno Hofland – Team Lotto NL Jumbo
2) Matteo Pelucchi – IAM Cycling
3) Ramon Sinkeldam – Team Giant Alpecin

Overall Classification:
1) Lars-Petter Nordhaug – Team Sky
2) Samuel Sanchez – BMC
3) Thomas Voeckler – Europcar

Blue Jersey
Lars-Petter Nordhaug – Team Sky

Green Jersey
Lars-Petter Nordhaug – Team Sky

Pink Jersey
Perrig Quemeneur – Europcar

Grey Jersey
Mark McNally – Madison Genesis

Star line up for first ever Tour de Yorkshire

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.

Geraint Thomas TDF ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

©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.

Matthias Brandle takes solo win in Exeter in Tour of Britain

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Andreas Stauff leads the way on Haytor

Matthias Brandle of the IAM Cycling team held on for victory in Exeter, attacking his breakaway companions on the final SKODA King of the Mountains climb to take the win in front of packed crowds in the city centre.

The Austrian rider was part of the day’s four strong escape group, and with the peloton bearing down on them as they approached the SKODA King of the Mountains climb of Stoke Hill on the outskirts, Brandle attacked to distance his companions.

Shane Archbold and Maarten Wynants valiantly held off the peloton on the fast descent into Exeter to finish second and third, eight seconds down on Brandle, with Sonny Colbrelli leading in what remained of the peloton a further six seconds down.

Omega Pharma Quick-Step’s Michal Kwiatkowski came in seventh, safely in the lead pack to retain the Friends Life Yellow Jersey for the second day, with no major changes to the Friends Life General Classification behind him.

The Pole also keeps the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey, with Sky’s Ben Swift narrowing the deficit to just three points.  Elsewhere Sebastian Lander of BMC Racing retained the YodelDirect Sprints Jersey, while Mark McNally extended his lead in the SKODA King of the Mountains Jersey, picking up points behind the break on both the Mamhead and Haytor climbs.

The break on Dartmoor

The break on Dartmoor

“We had to chase yesterday, because it is my job I had to go really deep to chase the breakaway back,”said Matthias Brandle speaking afterwards

“Today I got in the breakaway and thought maybe it was possible for a stage win, that’s what I tried to do. And finally its happens.

“No one really believed, but then they give us a little bit more and then we chatted some more and now we go full speed ,we started to try and then it was 2’30- 2’40 and it was impossible for them to get us back.

“Finally we really worked well together and it was me who could take the win I had the best legs on the last climb, I tried to push as hard as I could, I managed to break them down and so it was a really nice victory for me but also to win a stage at the Tour of Britain, they are really good guys here and I’m really happy that I could take the win for my team.”

The four rider break of Andreas Stauff (MTN Qhubeka), Shane Archbold (An Post Chain Reaction), Maarten Wynants (Belkin Pro Cycling) and Brandle went within the first few miles of racing from Exmouth, striking out on a venture which would see the latter three never reigned in.

With a maximum lead of just over three minutes, Omega Pharma Quick-Step were content to slowly reel them in, before a large effort by Garmin Sharp brought the lead tumbling down.

On the climb of Stoke Hill it was enough to provoke fireworks from the peloton, with several riders striking out but none being able to bridge the gap to Wynants and Archbold, who continued to chase Brandle all the way to the finish line.

The day’s Rouleur Combativity Award was added to the stage victory for Brandle, while IAM Cycling also celebrated further success by moving into the lead of the Friends Life Team Classification, a closely fought affair with the top four teams – IAM, Tinkoff Saxo, Movistar Team and Team Sky – separated by just 30 seconds.

Sebastian Lander & Michal Kwiatkowski

Sebastian Lander & Michal Kwiatkowski

Speaking afterwards, Omega Pharma Quick-Step’s Michal Kwiatkowski said;

“We were trying to control that gap to around three minutes, we knew that Brandle had three minutes in the GC so was not a dangerous break away for us. We knew that if someone from another team wants to win the stage they have to take control and chase down the brea away, Garmin did it and I am really thankful to my team mates today they put me out of pressure. Out of the four stages so far this was the first one that I could really relax, it of course was tough, hard with the one kilometre climb and the fast decent into the finish.”

Friday morning sees the modern Friends Life Tour of Britain make its debut in Bath, as the historic city hosts the start of Stage Six to Hemel Hempstead, taking in over 200 kilometres of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, including three testing SKODA King of the Mountains climbs in the Chiltern Hills.

Highlights of Stage Five are on ITV4 at 2000 on Thursday 11 September, with live coverage resuming from 1300 on Friday on ITV4, for Stage Six from Bath to Hemel Hempstead.  Full details of the television coverage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, including British Eurosport’s live coverage, can be foundhere.

For full Stage Five results, click here.

The Enigma of Heinrich Haussler

The 2009 Milan San-Remo. A warm sunny day awaited the 200 riders of the 100th edition of La Primavera. Amongst those on the startlist, including Andy Schleck, Bradley Wiggins and eventual winner Mark Cavendish, was the quasi Australian Heinrich Haussler. What happened in the preceding 7 hours has been retraced many times since. The coming of age of Cavendish at the tender age of 23 was obviously headline news. Haussler’s second place on the day, inches away from a first classic, rightly remained the subplot.

One day wins can define a career. Fred Guesdon is known for his triumph in Paris-Roubaix of 1997 and arguably the same fate may yet befall Johan Van Summeren who also triumphed in the hell of north in 2011. So, on the via Roma of San-Remo, in the dull sun of an April Sunday, had Heinrich Haussler’s missed the chance to define a his cycling life.  Born to a German father and an Australian Mother, Haussler remained in New South Wales, Australia until 1988, when he moved to Germany to pursue a career as a pro cyclist.

His breakthrough year in the pro ranks occurred in 2005 as he won a stage of the Vuelta. Beating Pablo Lastras and Linus Gerdemann and others from a small breakaway on a rolling stage 19 he showed tactical nouse by allowing Martin Elmiger to lead him out to catch Juan Manual Fuentes just before the line. The following years, 2006, 2007 and 2008 remained barren years with sparks of success such as top ten’s at the Tour and Gent Wevelgem.

Yet it was 2009 when the stars aligned for Haussler as he didn’t finish outside the top 10 in all stages of the Tour of Qatar and won two stages of the Tour of the Algarve in the early season. Stages at Paris Nice and the Tour de France followed, yet it was in the Spring Classics that he really hit a purple patch. 4th at Dwars Door Vlaanderen, 2nd at Flanders and 7th at Paris Roubaix and at Milan San Remo, Haussler caught Cavendish by surprise, sprinting from over 500 metres to go, coming within a whisper of the greatest win of his career.

 

Mark Cavendish pips Heinrich Haussler by a bike throw at the 2009 Milan San-Remo

Mark Cavendish pips Heinrich Haussler by a bike throw at the 2009 Milan San-Remo

 

The jubilant Cavendish hugging Erik Zabel whilst the Australian collapsed to the ground, meters after the finish line could not have been more of a juxtaposition. So what made the difference that year?  His growing experience as a fifth year pro, the switch in outfits from Gerolsteiner to Cervelo and an experienced team behind him or a winter of perfect preparation. Whatever the reason, it was clear that Haussler was making a jump to the upper echelons of the sport.

Yet a number of factors kept and continue to keep Haussler at bay. The difficult marriage of Cervelo and Garmin after the former removed their sponsorship at the end of 2010 meant he was now competing for leadership with Thor Hushovd amongst others. This combined with a series of illnesses and injury saw his season peter out after a successful early romp at the Tour of Qatar and Paris Nice. It seemed that he had perhaps transformed from a classics contender to a second string sprinter as the majority of results in the next two years came in stage races and not one day classics. Whilst an astonishing four second places in a row in the Tour of California of 2012 all behind Peter Sagan, can hardly be considered a poor result, his failure to get his arms in the air must have be discouraging.

This brings us to the creation of IAM cycling and Haussler’s switch from Garmin at the end of 2012. The team’s roster built through that year, whilst centred around major Swiss talent, contains a number of journeymen like Thomas Lofkvist, Johann Tschopp, Sebastian Hinault and Haussler’s breakaway companion from that Vuelta stage in 2005, Martin Elimiger. As Haussler himself acknowledges he looks back on his time with Cervelo with rose tinted glasses and he draws some similarities with his new employers. The roster is similar in the sense that the majority of riders are up and coming (like Kristof Goddaert and Matthias Brandle) or have had a barren few years like Lofkvist or himself. In his position as one of the more senior riders he will undoubtedly receive the support of others during the season.

Coming full circle to the 2013 Milan San Remo and IAM’s successful application to La Primavera, could Haussler be in the frame again? As he enters the Tour of Qatar off the back of what he has identified as his best series of winter training in a number of years you certainly wouldn’t bet against him. At 28 years old he may even be entering the prime years of his career and perhaps in the near future he will have that chance to rewrite his script that was so cruelly altered by a barrelling Manx Missile on the 29th of March 2009

 

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