Rowe takes second at Tour de Yorkshire as Guarnier claims the win

Rowe takes second at Tour de Yorkshire as Guarnier claims the win

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Megan Guarnier produced a sensational performance to win the 2018 Women’s Tour de Yorkshire.

The American rider scaled the Cote de Cow and Calf to win the stage and the general classification.

Great Britain Cycling Team’s Dani Rowe - third on the day - took second overall.

In the early stages, Manon Lloyd - racing for Drops Trek - was the virtual race leader, part of a two-rider breakaway for much of the race, with Rowe again picking up points throughout the intermediate sprints.

Lloyd’s brave effort alongside Italian Katia Ragusa was halted with around 40km to go - with another break forming almost immediately.

World champion Chantaal Black (Boels-Dolmans) stretched out a 30 second lead with four other riders, working hard to create an opportunity for her teammate Gaurnier in the peloton.

With 17km remaining, the group came back together on the Cote de Old Pool Bank - before Italy’s Eliza Longhi Borgini attacked, with Rowe joining the leaders on the approach to Ilkley Moor.

On the fearsome Cote de Cow and Calf climb, riders dropped off on the fearsome ascent with Rowe staying in touch with her rivals.

Megan Guarnier wins the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire

But it was the Boels-Dolmans rider Gaurnier who showed her strength to attack up to the summit to claim a well-deserved victory on her birthday with Rowe finishing third behind Alena Amialiusik.

That meant that Rowe finished second overall, 17 seconds behind Guarnier in the general classification and she told ITV4 she was thrilled with the result.

“I’m so happy. I’ve really targeted this race after the Commonwealth Games. It’s so special for me to race in this country. Having two stages, I feel proud my country is leading the way with women’s cycling.

“We’ve had a really young team with Great Britain Cycling Team but they’ve all pulled their weight, I’m really proud of them.”

In the men’s race, Cote de Cow and Calf proved to be the deciding factor in a bunch sprint up the challenging climb.

Magnus Cort Neilsen wins stage two of the men's Tour de Yorkshire

It looked like the Belgian duo of Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) and Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) would do battle for the stage win.

But Danish rider Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana), better known for his sprinting than his climbing, took a remarkable win on Ilkley Moor.

JLT Condor’s Ian Bibby was the highest British finisher of the day in 13th place with James Shaw the best Great Britain Cycling Team rider in 20th.

Cort Neilsen now leads the general classification standings with Aqua Blue Sport duo Daniel Pearson and Mark Christian, as well as Bibby the best-placed British riders, 23 seconds behind with two days of racing remaining.