Adam Yates sprints to third on the final stage of the Tour de YorkshireSun 1 May 2016
2015 Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian winner Adam Yates sprinted to third place for ORICA-GreenEDGE on the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire today finishing fourth on the overall general classification.
The result was hard earned by the 23-year-old British rider after a long and arduous stage that included five categorised climbs and saw the race split apart many times before the finish. Yates missed out on third overall by only one second in what proved to be a close run three-day race.
Yates and teammate Chris Juul Jensen made it into the final selection after attacks came thick and fast on the final climbs of the last stage.
Sport director Matt Wilson was happy with the team’s performance throughout the race.
“It was a great ride by Adam (Yates) and the team today,” said Wilson. “He had a real crack from the front group with around 30kilometres to go. He was feeling good but couldn’t quite go with the final attack on the last climb.”
“He produced a great effort to finish third on the day and fourth overall. The team has performed well over the course the course of the race.
“Obviously we are a little bit disappointed not to have secured a stage win that we came here for but all-in-all there are some really encouraging signs going into the Giro d’Italia next week.”
How it happened:
A bitterly cold morning in industrial Middlesbrough welcomed the riders to the start of stage three with a breakaway of ten riders escaping immediately after the neutral zone.
After an hour of racing the ten leaders had a lead of two minutes and 20seconds on the NFTO led peloton.
Stage three included the first category one climb of the race, Sutton Bank, and as would be expected the breakaway split apart on the climb. Nathan Haas (Dimension-Data) attacked towards the summit and started the descent alone. The peloton were under two minutes behind the leaders at this point.
The group of leaders came back together after the climb but with one rider missing. The nine riders attempted to increase their lead but the now Team Sky led peloton had other ideas. The leaders had just one-minute 20seconds with 114kilometres left to race and five more categorised climbs still to come.
On the Blakey Ridge climb the race split into three groups as Team Direct-Energie attacked from the peloton and attempted to bridge across to the breakaway. With 76kilometres left to race the field came back together after Team Sky once again ramped up the speed of the pursuit.
Peter Kennaugh (Team-Sky) continued the high pace and briefly broke away from the now reduced peloton. Yates was just behind the British Champion and as the race climbed again there were three main groups on the road.
Danish strong man Juul Jensen had also made it into the front group for ORICA-GreenEDGE that had now thinned out to around fifteen riders with 50kilometres to go.
On the ‘Cote de Harwood Dale’ it was still Team-Sky dictating the pace in the front group with Yates and Juul Jensen sitting in at third and fourth wheel going into the final 30kilometres.
Nicolas Roche (Team-Sky) attacked on the penulitimate climb of the day with Yates following instantly along with Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo). The group became five as Thomas Voeckler (Direct-Energie) bridged across with Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) and immediately the gap to ten chasers increased.
Heading into the final kilometres, the five leaders were seemingly toying with each other, waiting for someone to make a move. It was Roche who dealt the decisive blow attacking just before the summit and bursting into the descent towards the finish with Voeckler in tow.
Yates responded valiantly, single handedly pulling Turgis and Kruijswijk into the chase.
The mind games of Voeckler eventually won out with the Frenchman sitting on Roche’s wheel before launching his sprint in the last few hundred metres.
Yates sprinted away from Turgis and Kruijswijk to take third place and fourth in the final general classification agonisingly missing out on third overall by one second. Voeckler won the stage and the overall by six seconds ahead of the Irishman Roche.
ORICA-GreenEDGE are next in action at the 99th Giro d'italia on the 6th of May.
Tour de Yorkshire stage three results:
1. Thomas Voeckler (Direct-Energie) 04:51:57
2. Nicolas Roche (Team-Sky) ST
3. Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:09
Final general classification results:
1. Thomas Voeckler (Direct-Energie) 13:05:16
2. Nicolas Roche (Team-Sky) 00:00:06
3. Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) 00:00:16
4. Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:17