Team Sky’s Danny van Poppel won the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire, beating Friday’s stage winner Dylan Groenewegen in an exciting sprint finish that saw three British riders in the top ten.
Team Sky had strength in numbers right the way to the finish, and did their best to dominate the final 5km at the front of the race, but were challenged hard by a number of teams including BMC.
As the race neared the line Team LottoNl-Jumbo looked to be best placed to give Groenewegen his second consecutive stage win, however Van Poppel made his way down the right hand side to win despite Groenewegen’s attempted comeback.
Groenewegen will continue to wear the leaders blue jersey, and going into tomorrow’s final stage he has a six second lead over Van Poppel but neither are expected to win as tomorrow will be ideal for the climbers.
“It’s my first victory for the team, so I am really pleased to have got this for them - stage winner Danny van Poppel
Chris Opie was the highest place British rider to finish, however the ONE Pro man marginally missed out on a podium finish, coming in behind Nikias Arndt. Arndt also finished third yesterday and his performances leave him in third in the general classification.
Stage two gallery
The other British riders in the top ten were Chris Lawless, who finished one place worse than yesterday in eighth, and his JLT Condor team mate Russell Downing who finished ninth.
The route for the stage ran from Otley to Doncaster through the heart of Yorkshire. It was the same route as the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire in the morning which was won by Kirsten Wild, with five British riders in the top 10.
Like the opening stage there was a breakaway early on, and they led the race until the final 10km. The group was initially Richard Handley (One Pro Cycling), Michael Markov (Katyusha), Gruffudd Lewis (Madison Genesis), Dale Appleby and Joshua Edmondson (NFTO), and Stijn Steels (Topsport Vlaanderens), before they were joined by Edet Nicolas (Solution Crédit) after 80km.
There were King of the Mountains points available on the climbs, and Wigan-born Handley took maximum points in both of the first two to take the pink jersey from team-mate Pete Williams.
After the race, winner Van Poppel said: “The team did a great job, and were really motivated in the final few kilometres. It was really hectic but they took good care of me, then in the final few hundred metres I could push on and though Dylan came really close, I got what I wanted.
“It’s my first victory for the team, so I am really pleased to have got this for them.
“I have had a knee injury for a long time, and this is only my ninth or tenth race and after some hard times I finally feel like I am back.”