The 2018 Tour de Yorkshire has so far been all about the breakaways. But after stage 1's surprise victory for the break, it was an altogether different story on Friday's second stage. Forty kilometres from the hilltop finish in Ilkley, the leading organiser's car took a wrong turn, leading the four-man break off the race route.
Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) was the first man out front, counter-attacking after a fast start meant that no break would be fully established until 50km into the day. Garikoitz Bravo (Euskadi-Murias), Tom Baylis (One Pro Cycling) and Tobyn Horton (Madison-Genesis) joined the Frenchman, with the group enjoying a two-minute lead as they headed into the sharp end of the stage.
However, the group's chances of replicating Harry Tanfield's stage 1 heroics took a hit as the lead car headed off-route at a junction, taking the riders with it. Only their quick reactions saw them avoid the queue of parked cars waiting for the race to pass, and by the time they had turned around more than 30 seconds had been wiped from their advantage.
The ASO press office later commented on the incident, outlining what went wrong.
"There was a big crowd at the side of the road, and the [race direction] arrows were not very visible. Moreover, the marshal with the flag at this point did not have a very clear sign. As a result, the first motorbike took the wrong direction. Then the lead car and the riders just be-hind [followed]."
Four kilometres later, lightning struck twice, as three of the riders turned left at a tight right-hand bend, with only Horton managing to follow the route.
The two mistakes shattered any hopes of the break staying away until the finish, with Rossetto the last man standing. The Frenchman was swallowed up by the peloton on the penultimate climb of the day, the Côte de Old Pool Bank, 18km from the finish. Meanwhile, for all their trouble, the sum of the break's efforts would eventually amount to Baylis taking the most active rider award. In the finale, Astana's Magnus Cort won the uphill sprint for the stage victory.
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