Tour de Yorkshire: Stage 1

Lightning Strikes Twice – The breakaway yet again holds off the peloton and provides the winner of the stage as  Jesper Asselman – Hennessy and Bigham make the podium – stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire

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Tour de Yorkshire: Stage 1

Lightning Strikes Twice – The breakaway yet again holds off the peloton and provides the winner of the stage as  Jesper Asselman – Hennessy and Bigham make the podium – stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire

The 5th edition of the Tour de Yorkshire got underway in a familiar setting this afternoon, as Doncaster changed gears and hosted the start of the race as opposed to one of its famed, exciting finishes.

182.5km, two intermediate sprints and one categorised climb awaited the riders in a stage which everyone thought would end in a bunch sprint; after last year’s shock result which saw local hero Harry Tanfield take the victory on a similar style stage as the break held off the bunch. The weather conditions weren’t reflective of a year ago and for a time it was thought that thunderstorms could erupt. However, it was metaphorical lightning that hit the race for a second time as, for a second year running, as the breakaway held off the bunch with Jesper Asselman (Roompot-Charles) taking the stage victory; and with it, control of the General Classification standings.

Earlier in the day, fans turned out in their droves to welcome a list of riders, potentially unrivalled in the history of the race. Local favourites returned to ride on their home roads as Tom Pidcock, British National Champion Connor Swift and last year’s stage winner in Doncaster, Harry Tanfield all signed on to rapturous applause. They were then joined by two race winners including the reigning champion, Greg Van Avermaet and 2017 champion Serge Pauwels who, after battling it out in the general classification in 2018, have joined forces to try and help their team CCC take the spoils once again this year.

After a disappointing couple of seasons caused by a series of illnesses, the Manx Missile Mark Cavendish returned to Yorkshire with self-depreciating comments about his chances but a look in his eye that alluded to the Manx Missile feeling as though he was slowly returning back to form. Team Sky won the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire back in 2015 and after launching their new identity and kit a day prior to the 2019 edition, Team INEOS debuted, and fan favourites of this world-renowned team were joined at the start line by one of cycling’s all-time greats, Chris Froome who lined up for the Tour de Yorkshire for the first time.

The peloton went into this race nervy of the ability of a potential breakaway, but just a few kilometres in, a group of riders formed and took off at the head of the course. The race was run at a relaxed pace, with the peloton happy to the let the 7 riders in the break head on to take the first sprint points of the day with Jacob Hennessy (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) taking 5 points, closely followed by Liege-Bastogne-Liege U23 champion, Kevin Vermaerke (Hagens Berman Axeon) and Dan Bigham (Team Ribble).

Hennessy would also go on to take the King of the Mountains points after summitting the 1.9km @4.6% Cote de Baggaby Hill; and with it, the LNER Red King of the Mountains jersey. It’s becoming a habit of Canyon riders to form a breakaway and make their mark in Yorkshire and Jacob Hennessy did just that. Not content with the points he had already accrued, he went on to take the second sprint points in Pocklington too.

With 23km to go, the break was down to 4 men and their advantage at 1 minute 53 seconds. A few of the World Tour teams sensed that they needed to gain some control of the race but CCC had bigger problems as reigning champion Greg Van Avermaet suffered a puncture and required a wheel change.

The peloton started to reel in the break but 4 riders refused to give up their lead. Jesper Asselman (Roompot-Charles), eventual Dimension Data jersey winner Dan Bigham (Team Ribble), Sean Flynn (Great Britain Cycling Team) and Kevin Vermaerke (Hagens Berman Axeon) all pushed on.

As the race thundered towards Selby it was Jesper Asselman who had enough left in the tank to hold off the approaching peloton to take an historic win for Roompot Charles and etch his name into Tour de Yorkshire folklore.

King of the Mountains Jersey: Jacob Hennessy (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes)

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Stage Winner, Jesper Asselman said: “This is definitely the biggest victory of my career and I still can’t believe it. It’s really awesome and I will never forget today. The plan was to get in the break and go for the best climber’s jersey. On the climb I had no explosivity in my legs though so was angry. I kept pushing out of frustration but I thought we’d get caught because the gap was going down really fast in the last 50km. We kept riding really hard and everyone worked well together. In the last few kilometres I realised it might be possible and gambled to start my sprint at the right moment. I went full gas and looked under my elbow near the line and saw there was a big gap behind and I couldn’t believe I was going to win.

We are really happy with this result and it was a beautiful victory. Now let’s see what happens about defending the leader’s jersey. The last day looks really tough but maybe this jersey will give me an extra boost.

Yorkshire is an awesome place to ride your bike and the fans are always incredible. It’s fantastic that they came out in this weather and it gives you goosebumps to ride through crowds like that. It’s really cool to be here – like being in one of the Classics or the Grand Tours – the public are so enthusiastic. I will never forget today.”

Dimension Data Jersey Winner, Dan Bigham said: “Oh, I’m very happy but I was a little bit frustrated to be honest, I got to that backend and had nothing left in that sprint. It was a bit like last year but obviously I didn’t have the kick that Harry had. Obviously, we are track team teammates so I had a few hints from him but honestly, I’m real happy, I was really active, doing everything to try and keep that breakaway. I had a few goes at sprints and King of the Mountain and got second in that. My legs aren’t quite what they were a week or two ago but still, it was a really good day out so I’m well happy.”

His plans for the rest of the race? “Probably the same again tomorrow maybe, why not?”

Jersey Wearers after Stage One:

Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries GC Jersey: Jesper Asselman (Roompot-Charles)

LNER King of the Mountains Jersey: Jacob Hennessy (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes)

Asda Points Jersey: Jesper Asselman (Roompot-Charles)

Dimension Data Jersey: Dan Bigham (Ribble Cycling)
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1. Jesper Asselman, Roompot – Charles 04:05:45
2. Filippo Fortin, Cofidis, Solutions Credits
3. Jonas Van Genechten, Vital Concept – B&B Hotels
4. Boy Van Poppel, Roompot – Charles
5. Gabriel Cullaigh, Team Wiggins-Le Col
6. Ethan Hayter, GB
7. Cyril Barthe, Euskadi Basque – Murias
8. Mark Cavendish, Team Dimension Data
9. Chris Lawless, Team ineos
10. Rick Zabel, Team Katusha – Alpecin

12. Joe Nally, Team Inspired
14. Daniel Bigham, Ribble Pro Cycling
16. Andrew Tennant, Canyon DHB
17. Connor Swift, Madison – Genesis
20. Charley Calvert, GSC Blagnac Vélo Sport 31
21. Rory Townsend, Canyon DHB
23. Scott Thwaites, Vitus Pro Cycling
25. Harry Tanfield, Team Katusha – Alpecin
28. William Tidball, Team Inspired
29. Greg Van Avermaet, CCC Team
30. Thomas Stewart, Canyon DHB
31. George Wood, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling
32. Christopher Latham, Vitus Pro Cycling
33. Peter Williams, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling
34. Daniel McLay, GB
35. Owain Doull, Team ineos
36. Alex Luhrs, Ribble Pro Cycling
39. Michael Mottram, Vitus Pro Cycling
41. Christopher McGlinchey, Vitus Pro Cycling
44. Thomas Pidcock, Team Wiggins-Le Col
51. Mark Christian, Team Wiggins-Le Col
54. Max Stedman, Canyon DHB
55. Edward Dunbar, Team ineos
56. James Shaw, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling
58. Chris Froome, Team ineos
60. Robert Scott, Team Wiggins-Le Col
61. John Archibald, Ribble Pro Cycling
63. Daniel Pearson, Canyon DHB
64. Matthew Holmes, Arctic Tacx RT
67. Adam Kenway, Vitus Pro Cycling
69. Alistair Slater, Vitus Pro Cycling
71. James Fouche, Team Wiggins-Le Col
73. Tristan Robbins, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling
80. Isaac Mundy, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling
82. Robert-Jon McCarthy, Canyon DHB
85. Jacob Scott, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling
86. Jacob Hennessy, Canyon DHB
91. Jonathan McEvoy, Madison – Genesis
93. Richard Handley, Madison – Genesis
94. Zeb Kyffin, Ribble Pro Cycling
96. Michael Cuming, Madison – Genesis
97. Ian Stannard, Team ineos
102. Ian Bibby, Madison – Genesis
103. Gruff Lewis, Ribble Pro Cycling
105. Jacob Tipper, Ribble Pro Cycling
113. Scott Auld, Ribble Pro Cycling
115. Stephen Bradbury, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling
118. Joey Walker, Madison – Genesis
119. Graham Briggs, Vitus Pro Cycling
123. Ben Turner,
124. Sean Flynn

1 ASSELMAN Jesper ROC NED 4h05’34” 00″
2 FORTIN Filippo COF ITA 4h05’39” 05″
4 VAN GENECHTEN Jonas VCB BEL 4h05’41” 07″
6 BIGHAM Daniel RPC GBR 4h05’44” 10″
7 VAN POPPEL Boy ROC NED 4h05’45” 11″



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