Stage Two ToB – Petr Vakoc wins Aviva Yellow Jersey

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Czech National champion Petr Vakoc produced the ride of his life to hold off the peloton after a thrilling solo attack into Colne to take Stage Two of the Aviva Tour of Britain.

The economics student measured his effort well on the Pendle roads to take victory on Colne’s High Street by seven-seconds from Juan Jose Lobato, with former race winner Edvald Boasson Hagen a further two seconds back in third, as the finishing drag took its toll on the 45-rider chasing group.

Vakoc was well rewarded for his monumental effort, taking over the leader’s Aviva Yellow Jersey and earning a rapturous reception from the Colne locals who have a soft spot for individuals who don’t quit no matter how tough the going gets. This is after all the birthplace of Wallace Hartley, the leader of the band who famously ‘played on’ when the Titanic sank.

Just 23 and a fast emerging talent, plus a Gold medallist at the World Student Games, Vakoc took off with about 16-kilometres to go when an eight man break started to run out of steam and disintegrate on the rolling Lancashire roads.

The peloton gave chase with Lotto Soudal trying to manufacture a sprint opportunity for Andre Greipel but on tough and sometimes narrow roads they struggled to get on terms. Vakoc never seemed to pull ahead decisively but nor did the bunch every quite get on terms. It was classic hare and hound stuff and this time the hare won.

As he came into Colne, about 15 seconds to the good, the only thing that could derail the Czech Road Race Champion was a gruelling final kilometre drag but although you could see the pain and effort he seemed to get strong as he negotiated the ascent to win in style.

Juan Jose Lobato of Movistar chased him home seven second back with Edvald Boasson Hagen a further two seconds adrift, with the same order at the top of the Aviva General Classification.
Lobato’s second placed moved him into the lead of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points competition while Owain Doull of Team WIGGINS again rode well to take seventh place on the road and the Premier Inn Best British Rider lead.

Interview – Petr Vakoc Stage Two ToB by Cycling Shorts

Chris Maher of caught up with Petr Vakoc after taking the yellow jersey on stage 2 of the Aviva Tour of Britain 2015.

“It is a beautiful day and a big success for me, probably the biggest win of my career,” said Vakoc. “I didn’t really expect a ride like this morning but I woke up with good sensations. Normally I am not so good when there is a very hard start to a stage but today I felt good.

“Our tactics were to get in a break as it didn’t seem like it was going to be a sprint day. I managed to get in the eight main eight man break with 50-kilometres to go and we worked quite well but we weren’t going fast enough and the bunch was catching us so I tried my luck.

“I thought somebody would come with me but the next moment I was alone. There was a long way to go but I felt good and decided to press hard. It was a tough finish but that suited me well. I kept a little back and in the final 500m I imagined I was in a bunch sprit and rode like that. I was very tired at the end but it was worth it.”

Vakoc has suspended his studies for an Economics degree because his professional racing career has taken off so dramatically recently and he decided it was too much to combine the two.

His form this year had been impressive with a win in the Czech National Championships and a Bronze medal in the in the inaugural European Games road race, then recently overall victory in his national Tour. Last year, his first with Etixx Quick-Step, he recorded a stage win at the Tour of Poland and took time off from the professional peloton to win both the Road Race and Time Trial at the World University Championships at Jelenia Gora, also in Poland.

In the YodelDirect Sprint competition Peter Williams of ONE Pro Cycling Cycling reaped the benefit of aggressively getting in the early break and securing enough points to move one ahead of Pim Ligthart with erstwhile leader Conor Dunne a further point back.

It was the second day that Williams, who lives locally at Skipton and trains on the roads of the Ribble Valley and Pendle, animated the early break, at one point gaining over four minutes and briefly being joined at the head of the race by Alex Dowsett. For his efforts Williams, who won the YodelDirect Sprints Jersey in 2012, was also rewarded with the day’s Rouleur Combativity Award.

“I know the road and went out on the course last week and it’s a bit of an advantage,” said Williams afterwards. “You know where the tricky bits and dodgy corners are. It was always going to be a hard grippy day. I wasn’t looking for the jersey really, I was just trying to get in a good break but by doing that you can put yourself in contention.”

In the SKODA King of the Mountains classification it was another local rider, Preston’s Ian Bibby, who was the star of the day, leading the race over the first two climbs of the day – Nick o’Pendle and Bleara Moor – but it was Madison Genesis rider Tom Stewart who pulled on the jersey, after adding to his points haul from Stage One.

For full results and standings from Stage Two, please click here.

Stage Three sees the longest stage of the race so far at 216-kilometres, starting in Cumbria at Cockermouth at 10.15, before crossing the border north into Scotland, heading through Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, before the finish at Floors Castle on the outskirts of Kelso.

The Aviva Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.

Aviva Women’s Tour – Stage 2

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Jolien d’Hoore sprinted to victory in Clacton to move within one second of the race leader, Lisa Brennauer, as the fancied general classification riders began to flex their muscles.

“I feel good, I’m getting stronger but I also have a good team around me and that makes a difference. You can never win a race alone. I don’t know about GC but I did want to win a stage. I have that now and I can stay relaxed. Let’s see how I go.”

The reigning Belgian national road race champion of Wiggle Honda showing her liking for tough uphill sprints with a fine win on Marine Parade in Clacton.

Aviva Yellow jersey Brennauer also looked in ominously good form sprinting to second place while Christine Majerus of the Boels Dolmans team was in third place with another big overall contender Emma Johansson in close attendance in fourth place.

With the peloton catching the break four kilometres from the finish in Clacton, the multi-talented d’Hoore, a former World Junior Champion on the road, positioned herself perfectly coming up the long drag into the Essex seaside resort to win by a wheel to record her latest win in an increasingly impressive season.

Jolien D,Hoore & Elinor Barker Womens Tour 2015 – Stage 2 Interview by Cycling Shorts

Jolien D,Hoore (Wiggle Honda) & Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness) talk to the press after stage 2 of the Women’s Tour 2015.

“It was pretty close in the end,”admitted d’Hoore.“I went form the last corner but it was uphill and into the wind so I didn’t know if I could make it. I was hoping GIorgia Bronzini was in my wheel, in fact the original plan was for me to lead her out but she wasn’t there. She told me to go from the corner and she would try and stay in the wheel so I just gave everything until the finish.

“I feel good, I’m getting stronger but I also have a good team around me and that makes a difference. You can never win a race alone. I don’t know about GC but I did want to win a stage. I have that now and I can stay relaxed. Let’s see how I go.

“I had two weeks complete off the bike and then I had a five week training period which was pretty tough. It’s a little bit of a risk when you rest like that but I was confident that my form was good. I am happy.”

D’Hoore has all sort of options ahead of her and objectively she must be a contender for the World Road Race Championship in Richmond, Virginia which she has seen and describes as a very up and down “Belgian style” course with a few comforting cobbles for good measure.

But Rio 2016 is possibly and even bigger focus and in particular the Omnium on the track where she could yet prove the strongest rival to the triumvirate of Laura Trott, Annette Edmondson and Sarah Hammer who have dominated the event in recent years. D’Hoore finished fifth at London 2012 but was an outstanding winner at the World Cup at the Lee Valley Velodrome last year.

“For Rio I am going 100% for the track and my road season next year will be short to plan for that,” insists d’Hoore. My goal is the Omnium for sure”  

Meanwhile Brennauer, the World Time Trial champion, is revealing an unexpected talent for sprint finishes with her second runners up spot in two days confirming her in the Aviva Yellow Jersey that she wore today in place of the absent Armitstead, who, as she had announced the previous night, decided not to continue after her nasty crash after her stage win in Aldeburgh.

Lisa Brennauer Interview Stage 2 – Aviva Womens Tour 2015 by Cycling Shorts

Lisa Brennauer of team Velcro SRAM talks post Stage 2 of the Aviva Womens Tour 2015 as she tops the GC podium.

“It felt quite weird for me to be wearing the yellow jersey today. I feel really sorry for what happened to Lizzie yesterday, it’s never nice when somebody gets hurt in a crash

“I’m not really concentrating on my sprinting despite the two second places. I think perhaps I am just getting a better athlete. I’m not a pure sprinter and probably never will be but I can be fast especially when I get a nice lead out and the finishes on the last two days have suited me.

“It was pretty hectic today with a lot of teams trying to set their sprinters up, my team did a really great job setting me up around the last left hand corner when we hit the coast. The sprint opened up and I just did my best. I want to fight or this yellow jersey but the GC is close, so much can happen.”

Brennauer also retains her lead in the Chain Reactions Cycles Points competition, with second overall d’Hoore wearing that jersey for Friday’s stage in Nothamptonshire, while Melissa Hoskins of Orica AIS leads the Strava Queen of the Mountains competition having picked up points on both classified climbs.

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling kept hold of the SweetSpot Best Young Rider jersey with Coryn Rivera while Elinor Barker of Matrix Fitness, currently in ninth position overall, wears the Premier Inn Best British Rider Jersey.

After her starring role in the day’s breakaway, and repeated attempts to escape, Bigla Pro Cycling’s Vera Koedooder took the day’s YodelDirect Combativity Award while the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team also lead the Aviva Team Classification.

Stage 2 Results



GC after Stage 2


U23:  Coryn Rivera

Best British: Elinor Barker

Points: Lisa Brennauer

Queen of the Mountains: Melissa Hoskins

Team: UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling

Highlights of Stage Two are on ITV4 at 8pm on Thursday 18 June, with a repeat at 11.05am on Friday morning.



Stage Three sees the race return to Oundle, the Grand Depart town for last year’s inaugural Women’s Tour, which this year acts as the start for a demanding 139.2km run to Kettering through the Northamptonshire countryside. With the most demanding terrain so far and a stage length just 800m short of the maximum allowed by the UCI, this should be where the Aviva General Classification race kicks off in earnest, especially off the back of a long and hard ridden Stage Two in Suffolk and Essex.

Interview: Jolien D,Hoore & Elinor Barker Stage 2 Womens Tour 2015


Jolien D,Hoore & Elinor Barker Womens Tour 2015 – Stage 2 Interview by Cycling Shorts

Jolien D,Hoore (Wiggle Honda) & Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness) talk to the press after stage 2 of the Women’s Tour 2015.

Jolien D,Hoore (Wiggle Honda) & Elinor Barker (Matrix Fitness) talk to the press after stage 2 of the Women’s Tour 2015.

Read the full stage 2 report, results and view the race gallery here.

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 2 Image Gallery

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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

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