The third annual Tour de Yorkshire got off to a dramatic start on Friday 28th April 2017 with Dylan Groenewegen winning the opening stage for a second year in succession.
Unfortunately, however, a large crash near the finishing line in Scarborough took out many of the riders, with Magnus Cort Nielson (Orica-Scott) and Marco Haller (Katusha) coming off worst and being transferred to hospital with suspected broken collarbones.
Huge crowds turned out along the route, which started in Bridlington and wound its way inland through the Yorkshire Wolds and then up in to the North York Moors before a frantic finish along North Bay in Scarborough back on the Yorkshire Coast.
An eight-man breakaway formed after 15km and Etienne Van Empel (Roompot) was the first of those riders to top Garrowby Hill and Goathland to earn himself a spell in the best climber’s jersey.
The last escapees were finally caught with 8.3km to go, but before then the peloton had been split to shreds on the ride to Robin Hood’s Bay. Groenewegen was one of several star sprinters to drop off the pace on that steep ascent but his LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates worked hard to bring him back into contention and the Dutch champion repaid that faith, just as he did in Settle in 2016. The 23 year old powered to the line and held off a late challenge from Orica-Scott’s Caleb Ewan once again for his first win of the season. The bonus seconds awarded for that victory meant Groenewegen opened up a four-second advantage over Ewan in the General Classification and ensured he will wear the blue leader’s jersey sponsored by Welcome to Yorkshire for the second stage.
For information about Stage Two of the race, please see the separate news item on the Yorkshire Dales website entitled “The Tour de Yorkshire comes back to the dales again“.
[News item based on press release provided by Welcome to Yorkshire, posted 28th April 2017.]