©CyclingShorts.cc / Craig Zadoroznyj
Words Anna Magrath – Images Chris Maher & Craig Zadoroznyj
With many technical gremlins blighting day two of racing, both the men and women’s events being without TV coverage we all took to race radio and Twitter for updates, the media were as much in the dark as the public.
After the womens race it was then back to Otley for the men’s race which took the same route, flowing up through crowd lined routes in Thorner and Aberford and then onto Sherburn in Elmet where thousands of locals filled the centre.
There was more excitement in South Milford, Monk Fryston and Hillam, through to Pontefract and past Wentbridge House Hotel where a bride and groom and wedding guests came out to cheer on the peloton as it raced past.
And the crowds continued for both races through Sprotbrough and Cote de Conisbrough Castle, then Tickhill and Bawtry before riders headed for the finish at a heaving Doncaster.
©CyclingShorts.cc / www.chrismaher.co.uk
Over the first two climbs Richard Handley of OnePro Cycling group managed to stay away and and he mopped up the mountain points protecting the lead of his team mate Pete William’s in the KoM jersey for OnePro Cycling.
The breakaway of 6 riders; Richard Handley – , Lewis – , Bradbury & Edmondson of , Steels of Topsport SV and Morkov if held a lead of around 1-2 minutes, they group was joined by Edet but it wasn’t to last. The lead group fragmented and only 4 riders survived (Michael Markov, Josh Edmondson, Nico Edet, Stijn Steels) before being swollowed by a peloton sprint finish.
The winner of the stage was Danny van Poppel from Team Sky winning by a whisker.
Words by Anna Magrath Images by Chris Maher
Record Crowds for Spectacular Day 2 of Tour de Yorkshire
Over one million spectators came out to cheer on the riders for the second day of the Tour de Yorkshire, as the county celebrated a ground breaking day for women’s cycling.
Glorious sunshine started the day in Otley for the hotly anticipated Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race where World Champion Lizzie Armitstead led the peloton out of her hometown.
Crowds bigger than those who witnessed the Grand Départ in Otley cheered on as 100 of the world’s best female riders took part including Rio hopeful Emma Pooley; Dani King and Lucy Garner from British squad Wiggle High5, Hitec Products brought one of the world’s strongest sprinters Kirsten Wild and Dame Sarah Storey took part – Great Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian in history.
Speaking before the start Lizzie Armitstead, racing in her World Champions jersey for the first time in the UK, paid tribute to her home town of Otley and the immense support she was receiving.
The 136km race was a game changer for women’s cycling in the UK as it took the same route as the men’s and offered over £50,000 (€63,623) – currently the biggest prize pot in women’s cycling.
The winner of the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire was Kirsten Wild from Team Hitec Products who crossed the finish line in Doncaster before thousands of cheering fans.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said:
“Today has been an historic day for women’s cycling and it’s been a spectacular day of racing. The crowds were once again phenomenal and to see how the people of Yorkshire have taken this event to their hearts is just overwhelming. There was so much spirit and positivity in Yorkshire today it was magnificent to see. Clearly the one thing we would have changed if we could was the fact we had intermittent live TV coverage but I must stress that safety is paramount. Unfortunately there was a serious technical fault with the plane relaying the TV signal, the plane had to be grounded and the TV coverage could not continue for this reason.
“Fans and communities have continued their spectacular support for the Tour de Yorkshire not just from the routes but also digitally by sharing images, footage and updates to keep the public informed. Please keep tweeting and following @letouryorkshire and we will be putting highlights online tonight.
“We are now focussed on the day ahead tomorrow from Middlesbrough to Scarborough which promises to be an exhilarating race!”
Kirsten Wild: The plan was to let a little group go with one of us in the break, unfortunately that didn’t work out, the girls did a good chase and we caught them in the final, it was really good work. The sprint was hard, I started a bit too early, and I thought maybe not, there was a really strong headwind, so I let one girl pass and I could follow her and then pass her in the final again. There were a lot of people on the roadside it was really nice to have that support. It’s good to win here in Doncaster.
Lucy Garner: “I couldn’t quite get around Kirsten for the sprint, everyone know she’s an awesome sprinter, she’s definitely the one to beat here today in a sprint, actually for me I’ve not been 100% healthy coming into this race so I couldn’t have asked for more today, especially from my team Wiggle High-5, they did an awesome job to bring the three that were away back. It would have been great if we had a rider up in the break, so we did have to work hard to bring them back but there were other teams working with us who also wanted a sprint finish. We caught the back [of the train] with 4km to go and then it was just a case of focusing on the sprint finish. We knew we had to look out for Lizzie [Armitstead] she’s on great form this season and has won so many races, it’s just lucky for us her breakaway didn’t stay away.”
Lizzie Armitstead: “I wanted to put on an aggressive race and a bit of a show, it’s what it’s all about cycling, it’s a bit of an entertainment show at the end of the day. I wanted to be able to get stuck in and have a go. There were a couple of moments where I thought we could stay away [from the peloton] we were holding them at about a minute and the team car came up and they told us the organisation in the chase is not very good so just keep plugging away, but when we tried towards Doncaster and it was just a block headwind we weren’t getting above 45km per hour I thought, right they are going to be closing that gap pretty quickly.
By the time we were caught I’d burnt all my matches, I tried to get stuck in and help some of the younger girls on my team but actually they didn’t need it, they were quicker than me, so i was really proud of the way GB rode today, there are some young girls in the team and I think they have very bright futures. The course lived up to my expectations, in fact it was better, stating in Otley it was a goose pimple moment. All along the course there were people shouting so thank you to everyone who turned out.”
Overall, the winner of the blue Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire jersey was Kirsten Wild; her Hitech teammate Lauren Kitchen took the navy jersey of the Aunt Bessie’s sprint; Rossella Ratto of Cyclance Pro Cycling won the pink Mug Shot Queen of the Mountain jersey; the Howden’s Joinery/RNLI white jersey for best young newcomer went to Lucy Garner and the purple best team classification was awarded by Doncaster Sheffield Airport/Flybe to the Great Britain team.
More images and interviews from the race to come so watch this space!
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