- We were not in a good position for the final sprint, as the pace was really high because the peloton tried to catch the breakaway before the finish. In the final 50 meters I found a gap to sprint to the front, and finally finished 5th in the bunch sprint, but behind the 5 riders of the breakaway. Not the result we were looking for, but tomorrow is another day and another chance for a victory,- told Riccardo Minali.
To kick off the Tour de Yorkshire, the riders raced from Beverley to Doncaster, a stage of 182 kilometers. Six riders tried to avoid a bunch sprint in the streets of Doncaster, they formed a breakaway right from the start. They gained a maximum advantage of 5 minutes, as the peloton controlled the breakaway with the teams that aimed for a bunch sprint. During the stage, Astana Pro Team had several bike changes, because of technical problems and a crash of Truls Korsaeth (no serious injuries). But at the end, everyone was able to return in the pack.
In the final of the stage, only 5 riders were left in the day’s break, and the advantage was dropping rapidly as they were approaching Doncaster. But the breakaway kept an advantage going into the final kilometers, and with 1 kilometer to go they still had 30 seconds on the chasing peloton. On the finish line, the gap was 5 seconds, which was enough for Harry Tanfield to win the first stage and the leaders jersey of Tour de Yorkshire. Riccardo Minali finished 5th in the bunch sprint, a 10th place at today’s stage.
- It was unexpected that the breakaway made it to the finish, as the sprint teams were working hard during the day, but clearly not hard enough. Good for cycling and especially for British cycling. It’s nice to see that a talented British rider could achieve his goal. From our point of view we are trying to get some of our riders back in racing after the classics and we wanted to have a result in the sprint today. Now we’re started and we look forward to the next stage, in which we hope we can get a nice result,- said sport director Lars Michaelsenafter the finish.
Stage 2 of Tour de Yorkshire will depart from Barnsley and finishes uphill in Ilkley. The Cote the Cow and Calf will be the final climb of the day, with the finish on the top. Is it going to be a day for the puncheurs?
Photo credit: Bettiniphoto