Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Nacer Bouhanni wins stage two as Caleb Ewan takes overall lead - Road Cycling UK

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Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Nacer Bouhanni wins stage two as Caleb Ewan takes overall lead

Frenchman wins in Harrogate, three years after controversial Tour de France non-selection

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) won stage two of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire in Harrogate, beating Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) on Parliament Street as the Australian took over the race lead.

Bouhanni proved his form with a long-range sprint on the same finishing straight as that used for the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France – a race for which Bouhanni was controversially not selected by FDJ.

Now with Cofidis – a move largely triggered by that non-selection – Bouhanni was quickest to respond to a surprise late attack by Direct Energie’s Jonathan Hivert and timed his sprint to perfection to send a message to his former employers.

Ewan came in second for the second consecutive day, and will now wear the leader’s jersey on stage three – though he is not expected to retain it on a brutal, climb-laden final stage from Bradford to Sheffield.

Nacer Bouhanni celebrates his stage two win at the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire (pic – Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

After a huge crash marred the conclusion to stage one, only three riders – Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin), Russ Downing (JLT-Condor) and Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott) – were unable to start stage two in Tadcaster.

British trio Harry Tanfield (Bike Channel-Canyon), James Gullen (JLT-Condor) and Connor Swift (Madison-Genesis) were joined by Raleigh-GAC’s Sebastian Mora to form the day’s four-man break.

They were never likely to threaten the sprint teams on a day built for the fast men, however – though Tanfield did enough to claim the combativity prize.

With the race back together well before the finale – in similar fashion to the 2014 Tour de France – there was a flurry of attacks to contend with, with defending champion Thomas Voeckler among those to test his legs for the second consecutive day.

The sprint teams rallied, however, and it was LottoNL-Jumbo, Orica-Scott and Team Sunweb all at the head of affairs as they approached the uphill finish onto Parliament Street.

Where Fabian Cancellara’s acceleration disrupted the Grand Depart stage three years ago, however, Hivert followed suit this time out and had gained several bike lengths.

Bouhanni spotted the danger, however, and responded by launching an explosive sprint which Ewan – boxed in as Hivert started his acceleration – simply could not match.

Caleb Ewan finished second again, and now leads overall (pic – Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

The Australian pipped Hivert to claim second, claiming enough bonus seconds to replace stage one winner Dylan Groenewegen – who finished fourth – as race leader.

Chris Lawless (Great Britain) was the first Brit home, in fifth, while Matthew Holmes (Madison-Genesis) and British champion Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport) also claimed top-ten sports.

Ewan will wear the leader’s jersey going into stage three, but the undulating stage will ultimately decide the overall winner of the third Tour de Yorkshire.

Tour de Yorkshire 2017: stage two – result

1) Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) – Cofidis – 2.45.51hrs
2) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Orica-Scott – ST
3) Jonathan Hivert (FRA) – Direct Energie
4) Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo
5) Chris Lawless (GBR) – Great Britain
6) Kristian Sbaragli (ITA) – Dimension Data
7) Soren Kragh Andersen (DEN) – Team Sunweb
8) Tony Hurel (FRA) – Direct Energie
9) Matthew Holmes (GBR) – Madison-Genesis
10) Adam Blythe (GBR) – Aqua Blue Sport

General classification

1) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Orica-Scott – 6.55.17hrs
2) Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) – Cofidis +2”
3) Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo – ST
4) Chris Opie (GBR) – Bike Channel-Canyon +8”
5) Jonathan Hivert (FRA) – Direct Energie – ST
6) Angel Madrazo (ESP) – Delko Marseille Provence KTM +10”
7) Kristian Sbaragli (ITA) – Dimension Data +12”
8) Steele von Hoff (AUS) – ONE Pro Cycling – ST
9) Adam Blythe (GBR) – Aqua Blue Sport
10) Soren Kragh Andersen (DEN) – Team Sunweb

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