Previews Races Tour de Yorkshire

2019 Tour de Yorkshire: stage 2 preview

Will the sprinters have their day?

Stage 1 wrap

After Harry Tanfield’s breakaway heroics on stage 1 last year, the assumption was that the sprinters’ teams would ensure that this flat stage would end in a bunch sprint. But as the saying (almost) goes, ‘when you assume, you make an Asselman out of you and me’…

The six breakaway riders, stage 1 Tour de Yorkshire, 2019. Photo: James York

On a rain-soaked day, six riders made it into the break of the day: Kevin Vermaerke (Hagens Berman Axeon), Jacob Hennessy (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes), Jesper Asselman (Roompot-Charles), Daniel Bigham (Ribble Pro Cycling), and Joseph Nally and Sean Flynn (Great Britain National Team).

Hennessy went on to mop up maximum points in both of the intermediate sprints (earning handy bonus seconds too), as well as the King of the Mountains points on Baggaby Hill to earn him the mountains jersey.

Team Ineos and Dimension Data kept the break on a tight leash all day and with 20km to go, the break was down to 4 men (with Hennessy and Flynn dropping back) with an advantage of less than two minutes. So far, so normal.

Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com – 02/05/2019 – Cycling – 2019 Tour de Yorkshire – Stage 1: Doncaster – Selby – Nicholas Dlamini of Team Dimension Data leads the Peloton at Boothferry Bridge which spans the Rover Ouse

But with other teams not contributing to the chase, and the wet conditions inhibiting the peloton, the 4 riders refused to give up their lead. Dan Bigham, in particular, did some heroic turns to drive the break homeward. At the end, it was Asselman who had enough reserves to hold off a charging peloton and claim both the stage and the leader’s jersey.

Stage 2 route

Stage 2 is another relatively flat affair, and short at 132km. It also acts as stage 1 for the women’s race, which starts today. As per yesterday, the stage includes two sprints and one KOM. But it does have the added spice of featuring the Harrogate finishing circuit that will be used later in the year for the 2019 Worlds road race.

This will add intrigue but should not prevent the sprinters from having their day when the race finishes in Bedale. Then again, this race has already shown how unpredictable it can be, especially when only two teams yesterday were prepared to work to bring back the break. So we’ll see…

Weather

The forecast suggests more rain could be in store today, and it will feel cold too. A headwind could work in favour of the peloton.

Contenders

Will the sprinters have their day today? Probably, provided Team Ineos and Dimension Data get some help from other teams.

If they do, we can expect the finish to feature a similar cast of characters to the ones we previewed yesterday. In particular, I’d expect to Cavendish, Lawless and Cullaigh all contesting the win.

Ethan Hayter has a fast finish and took 6th yesterday, suggesting he was the chosen one over McLay in the Great Britain team. Either rider is capable of a big result today.

Filipo Fortin (Cofidis) and Jonas Van Genechten (Vital Concept – B&B Hotels) were both on the podium yesterday so can’t be dismissed. And Rick Zabel Rick Zabel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Boy Van Poppel (Roompot-Charles) also both looked strong.

I’m intrigued to see how Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes play it today. Hennessy has a fast finish and now sits 3rd overall just 5 seconds back after picking up time bonuses yesterday. A strong performance in the sprint finish today could see him take the race lead, so he may also be one to watch, if his legs are fresh enough after yesterday’s breakaway exploits.

TV

ITV4 and Eurosport will both show the men’s race live from 2.30pm. The women’s race is live from 9am.

Featured photo: Alex Broadway / SWpix.com

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