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
All images ©CyclingShorts.cc / wwwchrismaher.co.uk
Edvald Boasson Hagen of MTN Qhubeka became the first rider to win the modern Aviva Tour of Britain twice when he successfully defended his 13 second lead on the final stage, an 86.8km circuit race around some of central London’s iconic landmarks.
The Norwegian sprinted to fifth on the stage, which was upgraded to fourth when Andre Greipel was relegated for impeding Elia Viviani in the final sprint up Regent Street St James, handing the Italian his third stage win of the week.
Viviani’s victories in Wrexham, Floors Castle and now London also mean he is only the fifth rider to win three stages in one edition of the race, and joins Mark Cavendish as one of only two riders to win Tour of Britain stages in England, Scotland and Wales.
Speaking afterwards he said “After yesterday I saw I had good speed in the legs after a really hard week, so we thought we could win today.
“(Ben) Swifty and Andy (Fenn) put me in a perfect position for the last corner. We saw the road go up and I knew we couldn’t start the sprint too early. When I saw Greipel go I went directly on his left-hand side. He came across a little bit, a little bit and that edged me towards the barriers. I’m disappointed because it is better to win without this. He is a big champion and I’ve never seen him do this before. But we won in London and that is the main thing.”
“This week has been really good with lots of stages over 200 kilometres,” he added. “It has given me a very good base for the worlds and I am really confident. I think the Tour of Britain is the perfect roads for the worlds this year.”
After the stage Greipel insisted the incident was accidental: “I didn’t see Viviani coming. I was just concentrating on my sprint and suddenly he was next to me. The final straight wasn’t that wide, I had to look for space to overtake. Everybody was on the limit on the final corner. I didn’t do anything for purpose that’s for sure. That’s sprinting.”
Boasson Hagen’s fourth place on the day was more than enough to see him win the Aviva Yellow Jersey outright thirteen seconds ahead of Team Sky’s Wout Poels with young British rider Owain Doull capping an outstanding week’s work by moving up to third place overall thanks to a time bonus, the best result of his road career to date.
Doull also claimed the Chain Reaction Cycles Points jersey, having finished in the top ten on all but one stage (the finish at Hartside where he came 11th) and the Premier Inn Best British Rider award.
Boasson Hagen, who won three stages in 2008 and four in 2009, didn’t take a stage victory in 2015, but arguably his overall victory was all the more impressive, having to fight off a determined effort from Team Sky, working for the in-form Poels.
“I am very happy with that win,” said Boasson Hagen who joined MTN Qhubeka at the start of this season from Team Sky. “The object today was simply to defend the jersey and my team did a great job all day. Team WIGGINS took it out very fast at the start looking for the intermediate Sprint and seconds for their rider and it was very hard but then the race settled down a little. I always like to race to win. I had my chances with Sky but perhaps I get more chances with MTN Qhubeka. I think perhaps this year it was harder to win the GC than back in 2009, the course was tougher and Sky were very strong.”
Boasson Hagen now goes onto the World Championships in Richmond, Virginia where he will be riding primarily for Alexander Kristoff although on this form he clearly represents a viable Plan B. Both Greipel and Viviani have also expressed their hopes of taking the title and it could yet be that the Aviva Tour of Britain again acts as ideal build up for the eventual champion, as it did last year with Michel Kwiatkowski.
With a new look circuit hosting 14-laps of racing, the early interest in the final stage centred mainly on Team WIGGINS trying to secure two vital seconds for Doull to move him from fourth place onto the podium in third ahead of Rasmus Guldhammer of Cult Energy Pro Cycling.
For a team consisting of Great Britain’s best team pursuiters that was a pleasing scenario and provided a fine spectacle for a large crowd as Team WIGGINS went to the front half way around the first lap and bossed the race for the first three laps right up to the first intermediate YodelDirect Sprint.
A huge turn on lap three from Sir Bradley Wiggins set Doull up nicely although Russ Downing, riding for Cult Energy did manage to infiltrate the Team WIGGINS train and take the line honours to deny Doull the full three seconds. Doull, however, comfortably collected two seconds for second place to move into third on the road, a position he was able to defend.
After the first sprint an eight man break went up the road which meant Cult had to chase in an attempt to get Guldhammer into the second YodelDirect Sprint. Ultimately it was in vain with the peloton unable to get on terms in time, last year’s overall winner Dylan van Baarle taking both the second and third YodelDirect Sprints, on his way to finishing eighth overall.
Elsewhere Peter Williams of ONE Pro Cycling completed an excellent week’s riding – both individually and in the team context – by taking both the SKODA King of the Mountains title and YodelDirect Sprint jersey, only the third time that feat has ever been achieved in Aviva Tour of Britain history
Williams, from Southport, had cinched the Skoda King of the Mountains title on Saturday when he took maximum points on the final climb of the day up Brantham Hill in Suffolk and started today’s stage seven points up from Conor Dunne in the YodelDirect Sprints classification. With neither rider contesting the first sprint of the day Williams’ lead became unassailable and the celebrations could start.
“It’s a massive achievement for ONE Pro Cycling. This time last year it was just a few conversations and the ball had just started to role so it was a really new team. To come away with two leaders’ jerseys on our Tour debut is a brilliant achievement.
“I feel like I’ve been in good form all year, the setup is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and it helps get the best out of all the riders. It’s a really good environment. Coming into the Tour of Britain we had prepared well and felt ready to come here and do something.”
For full results and standings, please click here.
All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc
Bunch Sprint Along The Riverside in Stockton-On-Tees Gives Victory For ONE Pro Cycling’s Chris Opie.
After three and a half hours and ten circuits out of town, the peloton returned for the final six Riverside laps and the conclusion of the fifth Stockton-On-Tees Festival of Cycling Grand Prix.
The race burst into life with one final lap, around four miles remaining, as the long time two man breakaway of NFTO’s Ian Bibby and ONE Pro Cycling’s George Aitkins looked like it would possibly stay away, slowly began to fade.
There was plenty of attacking out on the main course, many of the top riders breaking free, but never got much further than around thirty seconds.
At one point thirteen riders gained some momentum, and all the big teams were represented.
Approaching the final few main laps, Madison Genesis formed on front of the peloton, and the chase got underway.
Heading back into town, it still looked like the two leaders would stay away, having around thirty seconds advantage.
With half the Riverside circuits complete, No-one team had took-up the challenge of finally closing the gap.
An arrowhead formed on the front of the peloton, with JLT Condor leading them along. The gap had been reduced to fifteen seconds.
Team Raleigh GAC’s Evan Oliphant made a bid for a long one with two laps left, but JLT Condor’s Richard Handley marked the move. News came that the leading pair Atkins and Bibby had been caught around the backside of the course.
As the riders returned onto the Riverside Road for the bell lap, the teams once again formed into lead-out trains, battling for position, with George Atkins of ONE Pro Cycling in the front position.
The pace increased significantly, shelling all but the strongest riders.
It wasn’t long before the leaders where back in sight crossing the river for the final push.
Opie took the honors, with NFTO’s Jonny McEvoy taking second. Team Raleigh GAC’s Sam Lowe took third.
Team Raleigh GAC’s Steve Lampier started the race in the leaders red jersey and has extended his lead to one-hundred and twenty-eight points with Team Wiggin’s Andrew Tennant second at seventy-nine points. Third overall a point behind is ONE Pro Cycling’s Yanto Barker.
Raleigh GAC lead the Team Points Standing by a narrow margin from ONE Pro Cycling. NFTO are in third position.
Top Ten Results
1 Chris Opie One Pro Cycling
2 Jonathan McEvoy NFTO
3 Sam Lowe Raleigh GAC
4 Evan Oliphant Raleigh GAC
5 Graham Briggs JLT Condor
6 David McGowan Pedal Heaven RT
7 James Lowsley-Williams NFTO
8 Steve Lampier Raleigh GAC
9 William Bjergfelt SportGrub KUOTA Cycling Team
10 Ian Wilkinson Raleigh GAC
Elite Road Series 2015
- Chorley GP 04 April 2015
- Tour of the Reservoir Two Day 11-12 April 2015
- Cycle Wiltshire 10 May 2015
Grand Prix Series
- Stafford Kermesse 04 July 2015
- Stockton Festival of Cycling 12 July 2015
- Ryedale GP 19 July 2015
- Grand Prix of Wales 09 August 2015
- Leicester Castle Classic Kermesse 16 August 2015
Full Results can be found on British Cycling Website
Stockton-On-Tees has put a successful bid in for the 2016 National Road Race Championships. Further details will be released in the near future.
My photos are regularly updated on https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
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.