Saturday, 29 April 2017 : Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen edged out Caleb Ewan to win stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire after a huge crash on the final approach in Scarborough.
LottoNL Jumbo’s Groenewegen, winner of stage one of this race last year, just hung on to beat Australian sprinter Ewan in a photo finish after the 174km run from Bridlington.
Behind, it was Ewan’s Orica-Scott team-mate Magnus Cort who was sandwiched between two riders and hit the deck, causing a huge crash which brought down several riders.
After the race, it was confirmed that Cort and Marco Haller of Katusha had suffered broken collarbones, which JLT Condor’s Russ Downing was thought to have suffered the same fate in his home race.
A lumpy stage through the North Yorkshire Moors had been animated by an eight-man break including Gloucestershire rider James Lowsley-Williams (Bike Channel-Canyon), Guernsey’s Tobyn Horton (Madison Genesis) and Irishman Conor Dunne of Aqua Blue Sport.
They built an advantage which fluctuated between two and three minutes and held it up the punishing Cote de Goathland climb, the start of which was signalled to riders by the toot of a steam train waiting in the station.
They started the final climb, the Cote de Robin Hood’s Bay, with more than two minutes advantage but lost more than half of that on the ascent, and it was clear it would come together for a sprint.
Direct-Energie’s Thomas Voeckler, last year’s overall winner, flirted with an attack as they arrived into Scarborough, only to be swiftly shut down as the lead-out trains assembled.
But as they approached the finish line – brought forward several hundred metres due to concerns over high tide – Cort’s crash ripped up the plans of several teams and Groenewegen held off Ewan’s late charge.