WEST YORKSHIRE rider Abby-Mae Parkinson achieved a top-10 finish as Kirsten Wild completed a Doncaster double in the opening stage of the ASDA Women’s Tour de Yorkshire.
There was glory for Yorkshire rider Harry Tanfield in the men’s race when he pulled off an astonishing breakaway victory, winning by five seconds from a host of world-class sprinters including Mark Cavendish,
Parkinson, 20, from Dewsbury finished eighth in a blazing sprint finish at the end of a 132.5km leg from Beverley.
Wild, who also won when the then one-day race finished in Doncaster two years ago, will wear the leaders’ blue jersey on today’s decisive stage from Barnsley to a summit finale at Ilkley’s Cow and Calf.
Parkinson’s Trek-Drops team-mate Anna Christian was in a breakaway and claimed the day’s grey jersey as most active rider, which is decided by a fans’ vote.
Pfeiffer Georgi, of Yorkshire-based Jadan-Weldtite Vive Le Velo, was the day’s leading climber.
A mix-up at a roundabout in the closing stages of the race caused confusion among some of the sprinters’ teams, and Parkinson said: “It was a really hectic finish.
“There was a bit of an incident with a load of cones so it was quite hard to stay organised, but it was a pretty decent result.
“I was trying to help out Lucy [Shaw] who was our designated sprinter, but we got separated a bit going into the finish, so I kept on going and I am pretty happy with it.”
Today’s stage, which passes through Castleford and Harewood, features three classified climbs and Parkinson predicted: “It will be really hard. I’ve done a recon’ of the course and it’s up and down from the word go really.
“I think it will be a reduced bunch going into the final two climbs and it’ll be totally different [to yesterday].
“I’ll see where my climbing legs are during the stage.
“I hope I do have good legs and Anna got most aggressive rider and she’s an epic climber as well so we’ve got a couple of options.”
Big crowds turned out yesterday, despite an early start for the women and Parkinson added: “I love it racing in Yorkshire, the crowds are epic and it’s really nice to hear your name being shouted at the side of the road.
“It was kind of cool Anna being off the front because I get so excited about being on home roads I want to go off and ride, but it kind of held me back and I was sat in the peloton a bit more, which was probably best.”
The men’s race was also expected to come down to a bunch sprint, but the breakaway –which formed two kilometres into the 182kn route – just held on as the chasing pack got their timing wrong. Cavendish was 93rd, in a huge group five seconds behind the winner.
“We pulled the wool over the sprinters’ eyes. It was pretty mega,” said Tanfield, who was a silver medalist in the time trial at the recent Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.