Stage two is a short but rolling stage, with three ranked climbs. Join us for the exciting action!
Welcome to the Tour de Yorkshire, which includes three “cotes”. We expect more gorgeous scenery and some exciting racing today.
This stage covers 136 km from Otley to Doncaster. Along the way, the peloton will conquer the Cote de Harewood, the Cote de East Rigton and the Cote de Conisbrough Castle. It is, in fact, exactly the same route the women rode this morning.
As we said, the women covered this route this morning, and Kirsten Wild of Hitec Products took the win by a bike length over Lucy Garner (Wiggle-High5), with Floortje Mackaij (Liv-Plantur) third. This race offered the highest prize money ever for a women’s race, with the winner taking home more than £15,000.
The race will be starting any second now!
And they're off!
Friday’ stage one ended in a mass sprint, with the honours going to Dylan Groenewegen of LottoNL-Jumbo, ahead of Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) and Niklas Arndt (Giant-Alpecin).
They are also the top three in GC as well.
It looks like another cold day today, and we even heard reports of a few snowflakes earlier.
The first two climbs come very early today, at km 11 and km 17. The third one is at km 97. The whole course is a rolling one.
We have a very early break today, with six riders, who already have 25 seconds.
The names are Handley, Markov, Lewis, Appleby, Edmondson and Steels.
That would be: Richard Handley (One Pro Cycling), Michael Markov (Katyusha), Gruffudd Lewis (Madison Genesis), Dale Appleby and Joshua Edmondson (NFTO), and Stijn Steels (Topsport Vlaanderens).
125km remaining from 135km
After 10km, this group has 2:00.
Former world champion, Olympic champion, Tour de France winner and team mentor Bradley Wiggins took to the start yesterday with the team he named after himself, Team WIGGINS. However, he dropped out early on the stage, citing the bad weather and not wanting to take any risk in his preparations for the Rio Olympics.
It is not only cold, it is also windy and rainy. Not much fun!
Team Sky’s Nicolas Roche is riding here, but has his eye on bigger goals this year – namely, riding all three Grand Tours. “Why not? It’s something that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while.”
Race info is a bit difficult to come by at the moment, sorry.....
Rohan Dennis (BMC) has had an off-and-on season, with sinusitis and a virus putting him out of action at various times. But he is here and says “touch wood, my health is really good right now.”
The six-man break has already gone over the first two climbs, and Handley (One Pro Cycling) has taken top points on both.
Stijn Steels, who is in the break group, is the nephew of former great Tom Steels.
We now hear that it is Edmund Bradbury in the break group and not Dale Appleby.
There is a lot of racing going on today! The two other biggest races arethe Tour of Turkey and the Tour de Romandie.
Sacha Modolo of Lampre-Merida took his second win in Turkey today. Read about it here.
46km remaining from 135km
The gap is down to 1:19 now and happily, the sun is shining!
LottoNL-Jumbo, with race leader Groenewegen in its ranks, is leading the chase. The lead has never been more than two minutes, and the Dutch team has been determined to not let them get far away.
The sun may be shining, but the road is wet in places, and it is not warm!
The peloton crosses a narrow bridge into a village, in chase of the lead group. Huge crowds here!
Tiago Machado (Katusha) has crashed and seems to have hurt his left leg.
We expect another bunch sprint finish today.
The race has been very fast so far, thanks to tailwind. That will change in the last 12 km or so when the course loops back and the riders face a headwind.
Orica-GreenEdge’s Caleb Ewan is a good candidate for today's bunch sprint. He wanted very much to win the stage yesterday, but had to settle for second place. He admitted it was his own fault: “I think there was a few tactical errors on my part that could have cost me the win today.”
The church bells are ringing as the riders pass through Pontefract, and the gap is 1:10.
Elswhere in the world of cycling, Greg Van Avermaet has extended with BMC.
We are lucky with the weather here today. Apparently it is absolutely pouring down rain in Switzerland at the Tour de Romandie.
The peloton is now tearing through Wentbridge, with the gap down to a minute.
Looking to the future: Lampre has said they will try to sign Alberto Contador next year. And meanwhile, Giant-Alpecin may be looking at Edvald Boasson Hagen if they can't re-sign John Degenkolb.
We knew we shouldn't have said the sun was shining. It isn't any more, in fact it is now raining.
We apologise again for the slow flow of information today.
Chris Froome has won today's stage in Romandie, a cold, wet mountain stage. Nairo Quintana retains the overall lead.
Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) has jumped from the peloton and joined the break group, giving us now seven in the lead.
And the gap is back up to 1:35 in sunshine again.
Enormous crowds out today watching the race -- very impressive!
The oldest rider in this race is Xabier Zandio (Sky), with 39, and the youngest is Michael O’Laughlin, Team Wiggins, only 19 years old. There are in fact four 19-year-olds in the race.
43km remaining from 135km
After 92 km, the gap is 1:25
Read here all about Froome won the stage today in Romandie.
The gap is under a minute for the first time.
BMC has jumped into the lead work and brought the gap down to 32 seconds. Sounds like the expected bunch sprint will actually happen!
We now have only four riders in the lead: Edet, Markov, Edmundson and Steels.
Just over 30km left.
Many thanks to Seb Sequet (Tour Radio) for the updates!
The gap is 30 seconds with 25 km to go.
The group will be caught quite soon: only 15 seconds with 20km to go.
The lead pack is hanging tough! They still have 11 seconds!
15 km to go, and LottoNL-Jumbo, Orica-GreenEdge, Sky and BMC are sharing the lead work in the chase.
The group is caught with 10km to go.
Orica-GreenEdge at the front of things with 4 km to go. They are determined to get the win today for Caleb Ewan!
And now it is Sky at the front.
Edet has been named the most active rider for today.
We are now in the final kilometre......
Looks like a photo finish!
Danny Von Poppel of Sky has taken the win!
That is the first win this year for the 22-year-old. And the second win of the day for Sky!
This race is good for the Dutch: that is the second consecutive win for a rider from the Netherlands.
Top ten on the stage:
1 Danny van Poppel (Sky)
2 Dylan Groenwegen (LottoNL-Jumbo)
3 Niklas Arndt (Giant-Alpecin)
4 Christopher Opie (One Pro Cycling)
5 Loic Chetout (Cofidis)
6 Albert Torres (Raleigh GAC)
7 Rick Zabel (BMC)
8 Christopher Lawless (JTL Condor)
9 Russell Downing (JTL Condor)
10 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-GreenEdge)
Groenewegen in the mix again, and the second consecutive third place for Arndt -- but what happened to Ewan???
The new top ten in GC:
1 Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo)
2 Danny van Poppel (Sky) 0:06
3 Niklas Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) 0:08
4 Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) 0:10
5 Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) 0:13
6 Stijn Steels (Topsport-Vlaanderen) 0:13
7 Gruffudd Lewis (Madison Genesis) 0:13
8 Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) 0:14
9 Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) 0:14
10 Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) 0:15
Thanks for joining us and please read along again for tomorrow's final stage.
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