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’…
On a rain-soaked day, six riders made it into the break of the day: Kevin Vermaerke (Hagens Berman Axeon), Jacob Hennessy (Canyon
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
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.
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…
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.
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.
I’m intrigued to see how Canyon
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