Breakaway Steals the Show on Tour de Yorkshire Stage 13. May 2018, Doncaster (GBR) — Road Team
The Tour de Yorkshire kicked off today with the breakaway denying the sprinters the chance to take the opening stage win as all six BMC Racing Team riders finished safely in the main bunch, just a handful of seconds behind the day’s leaders and eventual stage winner, Harry Tanfield (Canyon Eisberg).
With only one categorized climb to tackle, stage 1 was expected to be one for the sprinters but despite the breakaway holding on to battle for victory, the 182km race still came down to a fast and furious finale.
Earlier in the day, a six-rider breakaway went clear and quickly began to open up a gap over the rest of the field that stabilized at around the five-minute mark after 30km of racing.
The leaders were holding onto their advantage heading into the second half of the race before the pace picked up with BMC Racing Team continuing to stick together inside the first half of the bunch as the gap fell to three minutes inside 70km to go.
Just one minute stood between the breakaway and the peloton heading into the final 10km and it looked like the catch would be made shortly after however, with 5km to go, the breakaway was still holding onto a lead of around 40 seconds.
As a result, a determined chase began behind with the speed intensifying but, in the end, the breakaway was able to narrowly hold on to battle for the stage win with Tanfield taking the win and the rest of the field crossing the line just five seconds behind.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
Greg Van Avermaet:
“It was actually a pretty hard stage today. I didn’t have super feelings but it is my first race back. I hope it is better tomorrow but overall, I think everything went pretty well. Tomorrow is a harder stage and we will see who is in good shape here.”
“Today was a good opener. It was a little surprising in terms of the terrain as at last year’s race there was nothing like what we saw today, it was just flat and fast. It was still a hard day and the guys in the breakaway deserve their results today as we never really let them go.”
“Tomorrow is definitely more difficult than today but it's not massive climbing. For sure, the final will be selective and we have never seen an uphill finish at this race before. I could feel today that I haven’t done much racing in the past six weeks but hopefully, it has kickstarted me for the rest of the race.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“At the end, we wouldn’t pull and we would only have put a guy up at the front if the race came back together. That didn’t happen but the breakaway was only five seconds ahead on the line. We knew it would be hard for us to win today in a bunch sprint so, we didn’t want to collaborate too much in the final. Now, it’s important for the guys to recover well ahead of tomorrow’s stage which on paper should be a good one for us.”
Tour de Yorkshire
Stage 1: Beverley > Doncaster, 182km
Top 3: 1. Harry Tanfield (Canyon Eisberg) 2. Alistair Slater (JLT Condor) 3. Michael Cuming (Madison Genesis)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 24. Patrick Bevin 29. Greg Van Avermaet 42. Brent Bookwalter