Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Dylan Groenewegen wins stage one - Road Cycling UK

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Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Dylan Groenewegen wins stage one

Dutch champion triumphs in sprint finish marred by big crash

Dutch champion Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) outsprinted Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) to win the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire for the second consecutive year.

In a sprint finish marred by a huge crash, caused when Ewan’s lead-out man Magnus Cort Nielsen touched wheels with another rider after dropping the Australian off, Groenewegen sprinted to victory on the Scarborough sea front.

British rider Chris Opie (Bike Channel-Canyon) pulled off a big result to claim third behind the two UCI WorldTour sprinters, while British champion Adam Blythe also avoided the crash to finish eighth.

Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to victory on stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire 2017 (pic – Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

The crash is likely to have wider consequences though with Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin) already leaving the race in an official car, having been the first rider behind Nielsen when he fell.

Russ Downing (JLT-Condor) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) were also among the riders to hit the deck, in a chaotic end to what had been a relatively straightforward stage.

A fast pace was set at the start, and it took a few attempts to get a breakaway up the road before the elastic snapped after 15km and a group of eight went up the road.

Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport), Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie), Etienne van Empel (Roompot), Angel Madrazo (Delko Marseille KTM), James Lowsley-Williams (Bike Channel-Canyon), Kamil Gradek (ONE Pro Cycling), Tobyn Horton (Madison-Genesis) and Yoeri Havik (Raleigh-GAC) were the men to earn some TV time, but the breakaway was also kept at close quarters by the bunch.

Eight had become three – Dunne, Quemeneur and Van Empel – as they approached the final climb at Robin Hood’s Bay, however, before the Frenchman put in another dig to burst clear.

In the peloton the bunch split too, with several sprinters caught out by the pace and it meant several lead-out men burned out early.

Dunne fought back to stick with Quemeneur until the break was reeled in inside the final ten kilometres.

Defending champion Thomas Voeckler tried an acceleration to no avail, but nothing could prevent a bunch sprint.

The sprint finish was marred by a big crash in the peloton pic – SWpix.com

Ewan and Groenewegen – the latter without a lead-out – went wheel-to-wheel at the front, but Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) was unable to keep pace with his two rivals.

The huge crash marred the finale, but Groenewegen showed great speed to claim his first win of 2017 and the leader’s jersey.

Tour de Yorkshire 2017: stage one – result

1) Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo – 4.09.38hrs
2) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Orica-Scott – ST
3) Chris Opie (GBR) – Bike Channel-Canyon
4) Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) – Cofidis
5) Steele von Hoff (AUS) – ONE Pro Cycling
6) Kristian Sbaragli (ITA) – Dimension Data
7) Andre Looij (NED) – Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
8) Adam Blythe (GBR) – Aqua Blue Sport
9) Baptiste Planckaert (BEL) – Katusha-Alpecin
10) Enrique Sanz (ESP) – Raleigh-GAC

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