Super close second place for Ewan on stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire

Fri 28 Apr 2017

Tour of Abu Dhabi stage winner Caleb Ewan sprinted to second place on today’s opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire after an agonisingly close finale for the ORICA-SCOTT rider.

The Australian outfit rode a textbook race and controlled the catch of the breakaway inside the last ten kilometres with first Svein Tuft and then Mathew Hayman leading the charge and Ewan positioned nicely on the wheels.

The finale was chaotic, partly down to the speed, crosswinds and the final corner, a heavy crash took down Vuelta a Espana stage winner Magnus Cort just as the sprint began and initial X-rays unfortunately show a broken collarbone for the Dane.

Ewan hit out inside the final 200metres and was narrowly beaten across the line by Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) as not even a tyres width separated the two riders.

“Obviously we are disappointed with how it finished today,” said sport director Dave McPartland. “It’s a real shame and very unfortunate to lose Magnus, not only for this race, but also for the busy period ahead and we hope that he can make a full and speedy recovery.”

“We didn’t come here with a large squad so we were already running a bit threadbare, but nevertheless the boys rode fantastically well all day. Svein Tuft was on the front for most of the stage and we controlled the final kilometres perfectly to give Caleb the best possible chance to contest the sprint.

“It was very, very close in the last 100metres and Caleb carried a lot of speed into the home straight and is clearly disappointed not to have gotten the win. The team rode impressively throughout, controlled things, worked hard and conserved energy at the right times, but now we must look ahead to tomorrow.

“Caleb is confident and his form is good, the way today turned out has only added to our motivation to succeed tomorrow. The stage suits us very well, it is shorter with less climbs and the finish should be ideal for Caleb’s characteristics.”

How it happened:

Beautiful spring sunshine welcomed the riders to the start of stage one in Bridlington today with large crowds lining the streets and a group of eight riders jumping clear to form the early breakaway after 15kilometres of racing.

The eight leaders were being held around two minutes by the peloton at the halfway point, with just under 90kilometres of stunning scenery and rolling roads still to be covered.

ORICA-SCOTT never strayed too far from the front of the peloton, with Canadian strong man Tuft a visible presence up amongst the riders of LottoNL-Jumbo as the race headed into the final 50kilometres and the leaders now down to seven riders still at two minutes.

The breakaway group really started to fall apart over the sharp climbs near Robin Hoods Bay, some 30kilomtres from the finish and the gap to the peloton now less than one minute.

The last two riders from the breakaway were caught by the peloton with eight kilometres remaining and Tuft taking control at the front with Ewan tucked alongside Cort.

Hayman took up the reigns with five kilometres to go then Mitch Docker with Ewan on the wheel of Cort as the race sped under the Flamme Rouge.

Crosswinds from the sea made for a dramatically reduced bunch that went on to contest the sprint with Cort crashing heavily as Ewan accelerated away for a super close second place with Groenewegen taking the win.

Tour de Yorkshire stage one results:

1. Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) 04:09:38

2. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) ST

3. Chris Opie (Bike-Channel-Canyon) ST

General classification after stage one:

1. Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) 04:09:28

2. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:00:04

3. Chris Opie (Bike-Channel-Canyon) 00:00:06

Photos courtesy of ©