As it happened: Otley, Pontefract and Doncaster shine in Tour de Yorkshire

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Team Sky’s Danny van Poppel won the second stage of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire, after Kirsten Wild won the women’s race, with technical issues meaning neither race was fully televised as planned.

A historic day in Yorkshire cycling history saw two Dutch riders named winners of their respective races.

Danny van Poppel won the second stage of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire, after his compatriot Kirsten Wild took the women’s title earlier in the day.

Unfortunately, these moments were only available for those on the route to watch, as television coverage of both races was disrupted.

But, for the thousands who did line the route which took the same route for both races from Otley to Doncaster, a show of cycling splendour.

The morning belonged to Lizzie Armitstead, the local lass attracting huge crowds to the women’s race start in Otley.

It wasn’t to be her day as, just 3km from the finish line in Docaster, world champion Armitstead’s long breakaway was swallowed up by the chasing pack, allowing the 33-year-old Kirsten Wild to take the prize.

Cementing its status as a hotspot for cycling enthusiasts, attention in a sunny Otley soon turned to the beginning of the men’s event.

Team Sky’s Danny Van Poppel won by a photo-finish over reigning blue jersey wearer Dylan Groenewegen in a quite thrilling sprint finish on day two of the Tour de Yorkshire in Doncaster.

Van Poppel won the 135km stage from Otley by the narrowest of margins, squeezing his wheel ahead of Groenewegen’s in the teeming rain on South Parade.

Lizzie Armitstead at the start for the womens Tour de Yorkshire race from Otley to Doncaster.  Picture Tony Johnson

Lizzie Armitstead at the start for the womens Tour de Yorkshire race from Otley to Doncaster. Picture Tony Johnson

It was a stirring finale and just rewards for the thousands who had waited by the finish line in deteriorating conditions, for the day’s second instalment of world class cycling.

Earlier, Kirsten Wild won the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire in a similarly dramatic sprint finish to clinch the richest prize in the history of women’s cycling, denying Yorkshire heroine Lizzie Armitstead in the process.

Groenewegen’s second place in the men’s race means he retains the leader’s blue jersey going into the third and final day, a testing 198km slog from Middlesbrough to Scarborough on Sunday.

Skipton’s Pete Williams held the jersey for the King of the Mountains after winning it on day one, but he had to relinquish it on Saturday - but only to a team-mate, OnePro Cycling’s Richard Handley.

The men's race makes it way past Conisbrough Castle. Picture Scott Merrylees

The men's race makes it way past Conisbrough Castle. Picture Scott Merrylees

Frenchman Nicolas Edet of Cofidis, who has always done well on Yorkshire’s roads dating back to the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014, took the jersey for being the most aggressive rider, after single-handedly chasing down a six-man break that including NFTO rider Josh Edmondson of Leeds.

As it happened: Crowds brave the rain as Tour de Yorkshire snakes from Beverley to Settle

Big finish in Doncaster

Team Sky’s Danny van Poppel wins the second stage in Doncaster

The peloton in Pontefract

The crowds turned out to get a glimpse of the riders during the second day of the Tour de Yorkshire.

The women's race passes All Saints Church in Sherburn-in-Elmet. 
Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

The women's race passes All Saints Church in Sherburn-in-Elmet. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Earlier they got to see the top women racers as the Yorkshire Women’s Race breezed through en route to Doncaster.

And it was Kirsten Wild who took the victory beating Lizzie Armitstead to the richest prize in women’s cycling.

Later the men’s race followed the same route starting in Otley.

Crowds had been gathering along then route since Saturday morning.

They lined the streets from South Milford to Monk Fryston, from Knottingley to Pontefract and Badsworth to South Elmsall to catch a brief glimpse of the peloton as the tour roadshow rolled through, and then out of our district shortly after 4pm.

Live television coverage of the race was patchy as the plane that relays images for broadcast was grounded this morning.

There was no live coverage for the women’s race and coverage was cut short during the men’s race just as the peloton snaked it’s way alongside Kellingley Colliery and into Pontefract.

But out on the streets of Pontefract there was no lack of support for the race and many shared their excitement on social media.

Married couple of 50 years Adrian Pope and Hazel Pope turned out to support the British riders the Tour de Yorkshire riders.

Mrs Pope said; “The tour is good for the county of Yorkshire.”

And Mr Pope said: “I know they had some problems with television coverage and that won’t have shown Pontefract off.”

Lorna Malkin came down to watch the race and says she wants to see more.

She said: “It was very exciting and everyone seemed to love it which topped it off.

“An event like this really puts Pontefract and West Yorkshire on the map because it attracted people to the town.

“Hopefully people will come down and visit Pontefract because of this.

“I just hope that having the tour this year will build on the current legacy and will continue growing and getting better each year - let’s have more of it.

“It proves that Yorkshire is a brilliant venue and it can faultlessly hold a top class event.

“I would love to see it return next year for sure.”

@Karen_Collins1 tweeted: “ Warm welcome from knottingley @letouryorkshire @MyWakefield.”

And @PontefractCivic tweeted: “@letouryorkshire a big thank you @GaryVerity for bringing @letouryorkshire by @PonteCastle and the town Thank you!”

As the riders arrived in Knottingley Wakefield Council tweeted; “Wow! What a spectacle! #TDY.”

And as the team cars rolled through, signalling the riders had moved on, Alistair Watson tweeted: “Most of the kids are now out on their bikes! #inspiration #tdy #TdYPolicePics @letouryorkshire @teamjltcondor.”

Throughout the day Wakefield Council held two community events at South Elmsall market and at Knottingley Sports Centre.

Sunday’s final stage starts in Middlesbrough and should appeal to the climbers, according to race organisers, with no fewer than six King of the mountain classifications, including the infamous Sutton Bank.

Cyclists will follow a 198km route, through much of the north

York Moors National Park, passing through Thirsk and Whitby, before a sprint finish in Scarborough’s north Bay.

The men’s race sets off from Otley

The streets of Otley were packed for the start of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire men’s race as the town once again underlined its status as a cycling enthusiast’s hotspot.

Many had travelled on bikes for the occasion and the streets were lined with an array of bunting expressing cycling and Yorkshire-themed sentiments.

The peloton raced from the town’s starting point in the West Yorkshire town before climbing out of Pool-in-Wharfedale before hurtling past Harewood House, which memorably provided such a dramatic backdrop for the official race start of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart.

Vast crowds lined the roads as the riders turned away from the stately home and began heading towards East Keswick.

Kirsten Wild wins Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire

Lizzie Armitstead’s bid for the richest prize in women’s cycling ended 3km from home as Kirsten Wild won the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire in Doncaster.

Wild, 33, from Holland, capitalised when world champion Armitstead’s long breakaway was swallowed up by the chasing pack.

It was a thrilling sprint finish up South Parade in front of thousands of fans, but the great shame of the occasion was that there was no television coverage.

The Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, which mirrored the men’s stage from Otley to Doncaster later in the day, was the richest race in the history of women’s cycling, and was also due to be televised live on both Eurosport 2 and ITV4.

However, the plane that relays pictures back for coverage was grounded this morning, meaning there was no live television broadcast whatsoever.

Organisers were hoping to scramble a replacement plane from Paris for the start of the men’s race at 2.15pm, back in Otley.

While such a scenario prevented the race getting the international exposure joint-organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sports Organisation craved, it was still another grand day out for the region.

Hundreds lined a route from Otley that beat a 136.5km path through Harewood, Barwick-in-Elmet, Pontefract and past Conisbrough Castle.

For Armitstead, the 2015 world champion, it was a particularly proud moment.

“I never thought I’d get to wear the rainbow jersey on my home roads,” she beamed, just moments after he challenge to win the £15,000 top prize had failed.

“I kind of got involved in the attack by accident, around Conisbrough Castle. I knew I had to keep it going down the descent, there was a little bit of a kicker. I thought I’ll stick it here and see what happens, then I looked behind me and there was two of us, so it wasn’t exactly planned.

“You never know if you can make it stick. It was worth just giving it a go, I wouldn’t have bet on me in the sprint so I thought at least try to make it an interesting race.

“When I saw the lead go from a minute to 30 seconds quickly, that’s when I knew the race was run.”

Despite being unable to win the race, it was a still a memorable occasion for the 2012 Olympic silver medallist from Otley, who won the world road race title in Richmond, USA, last September.

“The start was brilliant,” she said. “I had a couple of bike problems at the start of the race which made it difficult but it was a humbling moment for me at the start, to be able to be supported by my community and the cycling community, which is just massive now in Yorkshire, made me feel really proud.”

Big arrival in Doncaster

The town officially turned yellow and blue as the first group of Tour de Yorkshire riders arrived in Doncaster.

Hundreds of spectators turned out in Bennetthorpe to see some of the world’s best female riders complete the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire.

Yorkshire’s World Champion Lizzie Armistead led the ladies, including eight British women’s teams, over the start line in Otley this morning.

All 17 teams set off on their 135km journey at around 8.25am, crossing the finish line here in Doncaster around three and a half hours later. The first set of riders crossed the finish line six minutes ahead of schedule. The finał riders came through around 20 minutes later.

Fans cheered and shouted “welcome to Doncaster” as riders completed the race. Team Great Britain were awarded purple jerseys as they won the award for best team.

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Crowds in Otley  backing local lass Lizzie Armitstead at the start for the womens Tour de Yorkshire race from Otley to Doncaster.  Picture Tony Johnson

Crowds in Otley backing local lass Lizzie Armitstead at the start for the womens Tour de Yorkshire race from Otley to Doncaster. Picture Tony Johnson

The women's race makes it way past Conisbrough Castle. Tour de Yorkshire. Picture Scott Merrylees

The women's race makes it way past Conisbrough Castle. Tour de Yorkshire. Picture Scott Merrylees

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