Tour de Yorkshire 2015: Team Sky's Lars-Petter Nordhaug wins stage one

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Tour de Yorkshire 2015: Team Sky’s Lars-Petter Nordhaug wins stage one

Ben Swift and Marcel Kittel abandon on action-packed opening day

Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Team Sky) sprinted into the leader’s jersey on stage one of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire from an elite five-man front group.

On a day which saw team-mate and pre-race favourite Ben Swift (Team Sky) crash out, and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) also abandon, Nordhaug lifted spirits in the Sky camp in perfect fashion.

Nordhaug and team-mate Philip Deignan had a numerical advantage in the front group and, though they couldn’t split the group in the final run-in, the Norwegian was fastest at the finish to claim victory.

Lars-Petter Nordhaug sprinted to victory in Scarborough on the windy seafront (pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix)

An action-packed day saw the peloton shredded on the heavy Yorkshire roads, with the short, steep climbs en-route from Bridlington to Scarborough wreaking havoc.

A five-man break went clear originally, with Yorkshire ace Tom Stewart (Madison-Genesis) among them, but soon only Tim DeClercq (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar) remained up the road.

Sky drove the pace on the front of the peloton, immediately cutting the peloton to size, with Kittel one of the first riders dropped.

Though given plenty of support from the large Yorkshire crowds, Kittel abandoned by the time the peloton had crested the climb at Rosedale Abbey and the drama kept on coming from there.

DeClercq took a bad fall on a short descent as they tackled the Cote de Grosmont, and moments later Swift crashed heavily – one of several riders in the peloton to fall on the same wet corner.

The Yorkshireman, a favourite for the overall win, was forced to abandon as a result of his crash while Eddie Dunbar (NFTO) was taken to hospital.

With the short, steep climbs continuing to come and the pace relentless on the front, an elite group formed as they approached the Cote de Robin Hood’s Bay with several big-name chasers behind.

Philip Deignan and Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Team Sky) were both there, as was Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing).

The short, steep climbs on the route decimated the peloton (pic: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Great Britain’s Steve Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) bridged to the chase group, while Richard Handley (JLT-Condor) and Scott Davies (Great Britain) also flew the British flag.

With discord in the chasing group the five men up front stretched their lead to a minute before Nordhaug kickstarted the attacking with five kilometres to go.

Sanchez and Voeckler marked the move but with strength in numbers it was not long before Deignan then attacked, dragging Voeckler with him.

Sanchez chased hard, but no sooner had he closed the gap than Nordhaug attacked again – Voeckler again marking the move as they passed under the flame rouge.

Sanchez led the sprint out with a strong wind blowing, but Nordhaug timed his attack to perfection to claim the first leader’s jersey.

Tour de Yorkshire 2015: stage one – result

1) Lars-Petter Nordhaug (NOR) – Team Sky – 4.22.28hrs
2) Thomas Voeckler (FRA) – Team Europcar – ST
3) Stephane Rossetto (FRA) – Cofidis
4) Samuel Sanchez (ESP) – BMC Racing
5) Philip Deignan (IRL) – Team Sky
6) Anthony Turgis (FRA) – Cofidis +1.08
7) Greg van Avermaet (BEL) – BMC Racing +1.10
8) Erick Rowsell (GBR) – Madison-Genesis – ST
9) Richard Handley (GBR) – JLT-Condor
10) Huub Duyn (NED) – Rompoot Oranje Peloton

General classification

1) Lars-Petter Nordhaug (NOR) – Team Sky – 4.22.28hrs
2) Thomas Voeckler (FRA) – Team Europcar +4”
3) Stephane Rossetto (FRA) – Cofidis +6”
4) Samuel Sanchez (ESP) – BMC Racing +10”
5) Philip Deignan (IRL) – Team Sky – ST
6) Anthony Turgis (FRA) – Cofidis +1.18
7) Greg van Avermaet (BEL) – BMC Racing +1.20
8) Erick Rowsell (GBR) – Madison-Genesis – ST
9) Richard Handley (GBR) – JLT-Condor
10) Huub Duyn (NED) – Rompoot Oranje Peloton

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