Crash-marred Sprint Finish in Yorkshire28. April 2017, Scarborough (ENG) — Road Team
The opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire came down to a bunch sprint won by Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) in a crash-marred final, which saw Joey Rosskopf caught behind.
After one unsuccessful breakaway attempt, eight riders went clear and hovered between two to three minutes in front of the bunch for the majority of the 173km stage.
One by one, riders fell off the back of the breakaway as they went over the first two categorized climbs and behind, the peloton kept the race under control.
As the peloton tackled the final categorized climb of the day, Cȏte de Robin Hood’s Bay, the pace and wind was too much for some and the peloton split into two large groups.
As the race reached 14km to go, a strong effort by the second group brought the peloton back together, and the remaining breakaway duo was in their sights about to be brought back.
With the catch made 9km before the finish line, the sprinters’ teams took control and set the stage for a bunch sprint. With the finish line in sight and the sprint already started, a touch of wheels towards the front of the bunch saw half of the peloton go down in a nasty domino effect.
Groenewegen held on to take the win and behind riders, including Rosskopf, were left to pick themselves up and try to finish.
Fortunately, all of BMC Racing Team’s riders finished unscathed and are able to race stage 2, 122.5km from Tadcaster to Harrogate.
Quotes from the Sports Director’s Car with Jackson Stewart
“I didn’t think it would actually be a bunch sprint today. Normally the wind here is much stronger and it breaks up the race a lot more. So I thought it would be a much smaller group going for the win. The only thing that broke up the race was the final climb, but the sprinters’ teams were able to bring it back together. Our plan was to let Floris Gerts try for the sprint, which he did, but unfortunately he was caught just in front of the crash which slowed him down. We are lucky that none of our guys were caught badly in the crash, it was just Joey Rosskopf who was involved but he didn’t really go down.”
“We wanted to keep Brent Bookwalter and Amaël Moinard out of trouble today as they will be our strong guys for the final stage, and we’ll see what Joey Rosskopf can do. If the cards play in our favor, Joey could go up the road. We expect the last day to reshuffle everything. Stage 2 should be easier because it is much shorter and the sprinters’ teams will be trying to control for another bunch sprint. We’ll see how we can play our cards.”
Tour de Yorkshire
Stage 1 Bridlington > Scarborough (173km)
Top 3: 1. Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), 2. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT), 3. Chris Opie (BIKE Channel Canyon).