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 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
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
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
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.
Marcel Kittel claimed his fourth win in five races in the UK this year when he took flight under the Liver Birds down the Strand in Liverpool for victory in the opening stage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain.
The German outsprinted Nicola Ruffoni and Mark Cavendish in Liverpool, to win the stage and take the race lead and the first Friends Life Yellow Jersey of 2014.
The powerful Giant Shimano rider, making his debut in the race, has now tasted success in Belfast at the Giro d’Italia and took two of the three stages held in Britain during the Tour de France Depart as well as this latest win in Liverpool.
Kittel outsprinted Ruffoni and Cavendish, although it was Adam Blythe who had led the initial dash for the line, but the NFTO rider faded to finish well down the order.
Although finishing third, for Mark Cavendish it was another painful day on British roads in a season where ill fortune has increasingly dogged him. Having already experienced a bizarre delay with a cleat problem on lap three of the 13.8km circuit, he then crashed three laps from the end after he and lead-out man Mark Renshaw were hurrying back to the peloton following a comfort break. Riding in the shadows on a blindingly sunny afternoon they went into the back of a team car and both fell to earth.
Both remounted and rode hard to regain contact with the peloton who slowed slightly to ease that process but Renshaw indicated he wouldn’t be able to help at the finish so Cavendish was alone at the death, narrowly beating Garmin Sharp’s Tyler Farrar for fourth.
Kittel meanwhile enjoyed a relatively drama free race although his team’s decision to hug the right hand barriers down the finishing straight was perhaps fortuitous thereby missing the disruption down the left caused by Ian Stannard’s spectacular crash, in the closing kilometre.
“It was pretty messy but luckily we took the decision to stay right,” said Marcel Kittel following the stage. “To start with I thought perhaps it was the wrong decision – we had made it earlier in the race – because there were not too many gaps but then there was a crash on the left and that allowed us to move up to the front.
“Tom Veelers did a really good job keeping me out of the wind so I could save myself for the sprint and that made it possible. I don’t know how badly Mark [Cavendish] was hurt in the crash I didn’t see it but he still tried to sprint at the end.
“It is hard work with just six man teams. We saw that today When Mark crashed and the bunch stopped riding for a while – so we then had to work hard to get the breakaway back, luckily Sky helped us.”
Kittel clearly loves the British roads, while if you include his second Giro stage win in Dublin that is now five wins in six races in the UK and Ireland.
“I am really happy to see all the fans here and to get a warm welcome, it’s been pretty successful here for me. Maintaining the form has been hard. The season is long, I started at the Tour Down Under in January and here I am at Tour of Britain nine months later. And I will be riding in the Team Time Trial at the World Championships and a couple of races after that.
“I have definitely had ups and down. It’s really about keeping fresh and enjoying the time – sometimes I go mountain biking and just having some fun with the team and not to be too serious.”
The large Liverpool crowds also had some home success to cheer, with An Post Chain Reaction’s Mark McNally in the day’s break, collecting the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey.
“It was a nice day out – I probably had too many friends and relatives out there to count – my girlfriend, the whole gang. The plan was for one of us in the team in the team to go for the breakaway. That always has to be the aim on the first stage. The first time I let the other guys in the break fight it out for the Sprints and it worked out quite nicely for me in the KOM. It’s local roads for me in Stage Two so I will be up for the breakaway again buts it’s a long week. We will see how it goes”
McNally was joined in the break by fellow North West rider Richard Handley, of Rapha Condor JLT andNFTO Pro Cycling’s Jon Mould, plus Bardiani CSF’s Sonny Colbrelli who initiated the break, earning the day’s Rouleur Combativity Award, and the first YodelDirect Sprint Jersey of the week.
Speaking afterwards to his Omega Pharma Quick-Step team, Mark Cavendish said; “I was coming back after and I was behind a car. Someone had to stop for a puncture so the car slammed on its brakes, and there was an island in the road. If I went right, I would hit a traffic island, so I went left and I whacked another car. I hit it with my left leg and I was down on the road. I felt immediately a lot of pain on my quadriceps. It took me a lap to come back even because our team car couldn’t assist me immediately because it was on the front. At that point I wasn’t planning to sprint either, it was painful. But after a couple of laps we decided to just try anyway, but sprint seated because I was in pain. I still got third, but it’s a shame because I really wanted to try and win in front of the British public. But accidents like this are a part of cycling and it’s just a matter of bad luck. I really hope that the luck turns in the next days…”
Stage Two sees the Friends Life Tour of Britain remain on Merseyside with Knowsley hosting the start of the second day of racing. Riders will then tackle a 200-kilometre day through North
Wales, finishing on Llandudno seafront after a challenging finale, which includes a SKODA King of the Mountains climb on the Great Orme.
Highlights of Stage One are on ITV4 at 2100 on Sunday 7 September, with live coverage resuming from 1300 on Monday on ITV4, for Stage Two from Knowsley to Llandudno. Full details of the television coverage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, including British Eurosport’s live coverage, can be found here.
The UCI are continuing their trials of on board bike cameras it’s being put to good use by ASO and Team Giant Shimano it really does show how much concentration and bike handling skills you need to get through each stage never mind a whole tour. These shots come from the bikes of Koen De Kort and Albert Timmer during Marcel Kittel’s opening stage win.
After crossing the line on stage 1 of the Grand Depart in Harrogate for the Tour de France we caught up with John Degenkolb of Team Giant Shimano on Marcel Kittel’s win and his own hopes for stage 2.
Image ©Pierre TH / CyclingShorts.cc
As the 2013 road cycling season ambles its way towards a conclusion and news tidbits start to dry up it feels like a good time to review the season; and what a season it has been both on and off the bike. Whilst the crashing fall of a certain Mr Armstrong has overawed the majority of the season,the racing and politics of the sport continues to provoke excitement and angst in equal measure.
Two new Grand Tour winners, two new classic winners, some biblical weather and a change in the top tier of the sport all point to that fact that it wasn’t a bad year after all!
Grand Tour Deja-Vu?
American bike rider defies all the odds to win one of cycling’s biggest races for the first time. No we haven’t been transported back to the drug riddled late 1990’s; its Christopher Horner (at 41 – the oldest Grand Tour winner ever) triumphing in the Vuelta a Espana. The impossibly gaunt and skinny rider from Oregon scrawled yet another chapter in the sports chaotic relationship with drugs and rumour.
Climbing for impossibly extended moments out of the saddle, the American arguably rode the perfect race to despatch Vincenzo Nibali. Herein lies perhaps the most important motif of that Vuelta – it remains a stiff task to be competitive in more than one grand tour during the year. Ultimately this has to be a positive thing for the sustainability of the sport.
That brings us to a certain Mr Nibbles. Safely despatching his opponents despite some biblical weather and some shortened stages – he certainly has to be classed as one of the top 3 grand tour riders at present. Admittedly a tentative Wiggins, an ageing Evans, an off colour Hesjedal and an improving Uran didn’t provide much of a challenge.
Again the Tour de France was strangled by a Sky armada, albeit in a less comprehensive fashion than 12 months previously. A precession from stage 8 for Mr Froome wouldn’t have been so enjoyable if it wasn’t for the 100th Tour which included a double ascension of Alpe D’Huez, Mount Ventoux and a dusk finish in Paris. Marcel Kittel also emerged as the top sprinter we all knew he would be, throwing down a challenge to Monseiur Cavendish. He’s certainly come a long way in a very short time since finishing third at the 2010 World Time Trial championship! Oh and who can forget the Australian bus incident!
Dan Martin powers away from an unlikely opponent
An Irish Panda
Let’s hope MTN Quebeka’s win at Milan San Remo inspires a generation (to pinch a well-known phrase) of African cyclists. Yet, history may well remember the ice crusted helmets, blue faces, mid stage bus ride and a tottering Sky rider instead.
Whilst Fabian Cancellara doubled up at Roubaix and Flanders and Rodriguez did the double at Il Lombardia, Dan Martin ensured Irish eyes were smiling again when triumphing at thoroughly enjoyable edition of Liege Bastogne Liege with the current fall guy of cycling Hesjedal teeing his Garmin teammate to perfection.
With Messers Boonen and Cancellara nearing the epoch of their careers and the timely proliferation of a number of new classic stars, 2014 may well see a new paradigm in one day races. Certainly, Zdenk Stybar can count himself extremely unlucky this year.
Cookson comes to the fore
Arguably the most important moment of the year came when the defiant Pat McQuaid was finally wrestled from his position of UCI president by Brian Cookson. Only time will tell whether the much publicised change Cookson has promised comes to fruition. With calendar alterations a foot for 2015, next year this maybe the last season we enjoy procycling in its current format.
Below are my rider and race or stage of the year. Who or what is yours?
My rider of the Year – Joaquim Rodriguez
Race of the year – Stage 6 of Tirreno Adriatico