Tormans-ACROG’s Zoe Backstedt put on a dominating display at the Junior Tour de Yorkshire, winning the women’s yellow jersey as Fensham Howes – MAS Design’s Max Poole fought off fierce competition to top the men’s overall standings.
The opening round of the Junior Road Series kicked off with the inaugural edition of the Junior Tour de Yorkshire.
Taking place over two days, the race held two stages for the women’s peloton and three for the men.
A prologue time trial started the action with a 5.73km test against the clock. Backstedt set a scorching pace for the women, finishing with an advantage of 23 seconds while Poole took the win for the men.
The second stage consisted of a 18.7km circuit that the women navigated 3.8 laps of with 928m of climbing, as the boys tackled 5.8 laps and almost 1400m of climbing.
En route was the steep Pot Bank climb, seen in the 2019 World Road Race Championships, with a false flat on Pennypot Lane before the scale towards the finish on Bland Hill.
It was on the second lap that the girls’ race exploded due to an effort by Crelan-IKO’s Millie Couzens. On the final stretch of Bland Hill, Couzens sprinted for victory to win the second stage.
But a strong performance by Backstedt saw her cross the line in second place, ultimately winning the race overall by 22 seconds from Couzens and VC Londres’ Flora Perkins who rounded off the general classification podium.
Backstedt further added the Queen of the Mountains jersey to her collection after an impressive performance on the climbs.
Before the men’s second stage, Poole of Fensham Howes – MAS Design led the general classification for the boys just four seconds in front of FlandersColor Galloo’s Joshua Tarling.
Lukas Nerurkar of VC Londres produced a brave solo attack to distance his competitors and win the stage, sitting in fifth overall at the end of the day.
The third and final stage for the boys provided some entertaining action due to the close standings.
Poole led Z Junior Race Team’s Josh Giddings by two seconds as Tarling and Isle of Man’s Tyler Hannay were tied on time for the final spot on the podium
Tackling 101km around a tough, hilly circuit, a large group of riders were still able to contest the victory after 5.5 laps.
Culminating in a bunch sprint finish, Noah Hobbs of Backstedt Bike Performance RC crossed the line first.
Poole finished in this group to secure the overall win at the Junior Tour de Yorkshire by just two seconds from Giddings.
Tarling finished third overall, as fourth-placed Hannay on GC also topped the King of the Mountains standings.