Tour de Yorkshire: Groenewegen powers to victory in opening stage

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) took victory on the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire, getting the better of a boxed-in Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) in the sprint finish in Settle.

The Dutchman, whose teammates had shut down a solo move from Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data) just ahead of the flamme rouge, went left as he came round Niklas Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) – who finished third – to open his sprint, leaving the young Australian Ewan with no room to get round.

Groenewegen pulled on the first blue leader’s jersey of the 2016 race for his efforts and, thanks to bonus seconds, he leads the overall by four seconds over Ewan ahead of the repeat sprint showdown expected on Saturday.

“It was very good lead-out from my team. It was perfect; the last corner I took the lead and I could hold it to the finish. I’m very happy with this win, it’s very good for me and the team,” said Groenewegen.

“I think not,” he said when asked if there was any chance bonus seconds could help him mount a bid for the overall. “I go for it tomorrow then Sunday it’s for Steven [Kruijswijk] and Primoz [Roglic].”

The north of England served up its unique cocktail of hills, grippy roads and grim weather on the 183km trip from Beverley to Settle. Despite the adverse conditions, with driving rain and winds of around 35km/h, and headwind for the most part, it was a relatively contained affair.

Six riders went up the road early on and they were kept on a four-minute leash for much of the day thanks mostly to the efforts of Team Sky, who only had Danny van Poppel’s sixth place to show for it. Once on the final circuit inside the final 15km, the French duo of Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) and Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) enjoyed a few kilometres solo, before Cummings launched his threatening late move, but there were enough teams and numbers to ensure the bunch sprint.

How it happened

Almost as soon as the flag had dropped, so had many of the riders. There was a big crash in the early stages and though no one was seriously affected, a group of breakaway hopefuls managed to forge clear before order had been restored.

Jens Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Pete Williams (One Pro Cycling), Sebastian Mora (Raleigh GAC), Matt Cronshaw (Madison Genisis), Nils Politt (Katusha), Graham Briggs (JLT Condor) were the escape artists and they soon had four minutes as Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) was sent to the front to assume policing duties, and he stayed there for some time.

He was joined by teammate Xavier Xandio and later by Orica’s King Lok Cheung, and it was a big effort just to keep things under control, with the peloton strung out into a line as the riders battled a 34km/h headwind and driving rain. Bernard Eisel was an increasingly prominent figure at the front in the final 100km as riders grappled with gilets and rain jackets in the ever-changing conditions.

With 70km to go, Wallays, Williams and Politt used the rolling terrain to dispose of their breakaway companions and they battled it out for the KOM points on the Côte de Greenhow Hill – where Williams came out on top convincingly. After that, though, they were brought back by the bunch and, after a couple of counter attacks, it was all together and under control in the last 30km

At the intermediate sprint in Giggleswick, Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) attacked in search of three relatively easy bonus seconds but he was followed and passed by compatriot Anthony Turgis (Cofidis). That duo then enjoyed a tailwind as they managed to hold of the bunch into the final 5km but it was Cummings who then rolled the dice. After a few moments of hesitation and panic, Lotto brought him back under the flamme rouge and put Groenewgen in a good position for the sprint. They were brought back but Steve Cummings was already on the attack and he rolled the dice. He had a handful of seconds going into the final couple of kilometres and after a moment of panic, LottoNL-Jumbo turned up the pace and brought it back together underneath the flamme rouge.

Karol Domagalski (ONE Pro) led it out but Groenewegen came past from third with a strong surge of pace. Ewan, the pre-race favourite, was on his wheel and will be left to wonder what might have been if he’d had space to take on the Dutchman.


Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo5:09:11
2Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
4Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
5Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
6Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team
7Christopher Lawless (GBr) JLT Condor
8Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling
9Dion Smith (NZl) ONE Pro Cycling
10Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
11Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
12Magnus Cort (Den) Orica-GreenEdge
13Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge
14Tom Stewart (GBr) Madison Genesis
15Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Team Raleigh–GAC
16Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky
17Huub Duijn (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
18Russell Downing (GBr) JLT Condor
19Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie
20Loïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
21Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
22Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team
23Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
24Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
25Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha
26Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
27Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
28Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
29Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
30Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky
31Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
32Wesley Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
33Mark Christian (GBr) Team WIGGINS
34Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
35Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
36Ian Bibby (GBr) NFTO
37Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
38Lars van der Haar (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
39Alberto Losada (Spa) Team Katusha
40Steve Lampier (GBr) JLT Condor
41James Lowsley-Williams (GBr) NFTO
42Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
43Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie
44Erick Rowsell (GBr) Madison Genesis
45Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
46Alistair Slater (GBr) JLT Condor
47Gabriel Cullaigh (GBr) Great Britain
48Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha
49Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Team Raleigh–GAC
50Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Team Raleigh–GAC
51Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Orica-GreenEdge
52Angel Vicioso (Spa) Team Katusha
53Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
54Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
55Thomas Moses (GBr) JLT Condor
56Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
57Gruffudd Lewis (GBr) Madison Genesis
58Matt Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis
59Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data
60Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
61Edmund Bradbury (GBr) NFTO
62Richard Handley (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling
63Liam Holohan (GBr) Team WIGGINS
64Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
65Dale Appleby (GBr) NFTO
66Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
67Alexandre Blain (GBr) Madison Genesis
68Aimé Degendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
69Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing Team
70Conor Dunne (Irl) JLT Condor
71Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky
72Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling
73Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
74Jérémy Cornu (Fra) Direct Energie
75Martin Mortensen (Den) ONE Pro Cycling
76James Oram (NZl) ONE Pro Cycling
77Tom Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
78Andrew Tennant (GBr) Team WIGGINS
79Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
80Stephen Williams (GBr) JLT Condor
81Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data
82Rhys Lloyd (GBr) NFTO
83Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha0:00:26
84Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:32
85Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:00:36
86Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky0:00:38
87Michael Morkov (Den) Team Katusha0:00:46
88Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-GreenEdge0:01:11
89Joshua Edmondson (GBr) NFTO0:01:12
90Adria Moreno Sala (Spa) Team Raleigh–GAC
91Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie
92Mekseb Debesay (Eri) Dimension Data0:01:20
93Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:01:23
94Jef Van Meirhaeghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
95Evan Oliphant (GBr) Team Raleigh–GAC0:01:38
96Tristan Robbins (GBr) Madison Genesis
97Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin0:02:55
98Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data
99Carter Jones (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin
100Nils Politt (Ger) Team Katusha
101Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) NFTO
102Robert Partridge (GBr) NFTO
103Sam Lowe (GBr) Team WIGGINS
104Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky
105Ivar Slik (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton0:03:12
106Sebastian Mora (Spa) Team Raleigh–GAC
107Ian Wilkinson (GBr) Great Britain
108Peter Williams (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling0:04:24
109Xabier Zandio (Spa) Team Sky0:05:43
110Andrew Fenn (GBr) Team Sky
111King Lok Cheung (HKg) Orica-GreenEdge
112Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
113Jens Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
114Chris Opie (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling
115Taylor Gunman (NZl) Madison Genesis0:06:34
116Grant Ferguson (GBr) Great Britain0:08:26
117Fredrik Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin0:10:44
118Michael O'Loughlin (Irl) Team WIGGINS
119Marc De Maar (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
120André Looij (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
121Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Direct Energie
122George Pym (GBr) Team Raleigh–GAC
123Oliver Wood (GBr) Great Britain
124Matt Cronshaw (GBr) Madison Genesis
125Iain Paton (GBr) Great Britain0:12:14
126Joseph Fry (GBr) Great Britain0:14:33
127Mark Stewart (GBr) Great Britain0:16:38
128Daniel Patten (GBr) Team WIGGINS
129Barry Markus (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton0:19:16
130Richard Hepworth (GBr) Team Raleigh–GAC0:20:14
131Ruben Pols (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
132Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor
133Khalid Ibrahim (GBr) Great Britain0:21:31
DNFFabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFBradley Wiggins (GBr) Team WIGGINS
DNFScott Davies (GBr) Team WIGGINS
DNFNick Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFJulien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFRudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFSven Erik Byström (Nor) Team Katusha

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