May 2, 2015 – Dutchman Moreno Hofland earnt his Lotto NL team’s first victory of the year as he won the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday.
With the peloton shorn of German sprint star Marcel Kittel and British hope Ben Swift, Hofland took the tape following 174km from Selby to York ahead of Italy’s Matteo Pelucchi and Dutch compatriot Ramon Sinkeldam. Team Lotto NL-Jumbo had been the only World Tour squad yet to record a victory this year but Hofland finally threw that sorry statistic onto the scrapheap. Norway’s Lars-Petter Nordhaug of
British Team Sky maintained his overall lead ahead of Spaniard Samuel Sanchez, the 2008 Olympic road race champion. The largely flat stage was always expected to end in a sprint finish in front of York Racecourse, and Lotto NL combined with Pelucchi’s IAM squad to control a seven man breakaway.
Two of those seven went it alone once they had arrived in York for two 20km circuits of the historic city. Belgian Bert De Backer eventually dropped Briton Mark McNally but was himself reeled in with less than 2km to ride. Kittel had quit after around 100km of Friday’s opening stage citing a lack of form as he already trailed the peloton by six minutes while Swift crashed out soon after that on a slippery descent. It meant Hofland and Pelucchi were the two favourites for the sprint and their teams were acutely aware, controlling the breakaway and then leading the charge to the finish line.
BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet tried to get the jump on the sprinters down the final straight, opening a small gap, but despite a valiant effort, he was caught and Hofland had just enough to beat Pelucchi. Nordhaug increased his lead overall to 10sec after a slight split appeared in the peloton as they rolled into the finish, costing some riders six seconds.
Frenchman Thomas Voeckler was on the wrong side of the split and having started the day second at 4sec he dropped to third at 10sec, with compatriot Stephane Rossetto also losing time to sit fourth at 12sec. Nordhaug’s Irish Sky teammate Philip Deignan is fifth at 16sec. The overall winner should come from those five following Sunday’s final stage over 167 lumpy kilometres from Wakefield to Leeds.
Final 10kms of Stage 2
Results Stage 2:
1. Moreno Hofland (NED/TLJ) 3hr 57min 58sec
2. Matteo Pelucchi (ITA/IAM) same time
3. Ramon Sinkeldam (NED/TGA) s.t.
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (LUX/BMC) s.t.
5. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/ROP) s.t.
6. Andre Looij (NED/ROP) s.t.
7. Russell Downing (GBR/CLT) s.t.
8. Andreas Stauff (GER/MTN) s.t.
9. Harry Tanfield (GBR/JLT) s.t.
10. Pieter Van Speybrouck (BEL/TSV)
1. Lars-Petter Nordhaug (NOR/SKY) 8hr 20min 26sec
2. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/BMC) at 10sec
3. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/EUC) s.t.
4. Stephane Rossetto (FRA/COF) 12
5. Philip Deignan (IRL/SKY) 16
6. Anthony Turgis (FRA/COF) 1:18
7. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 1:20
8. Erick Rowsell (GBR/MGT) s.t.
9. Ben Hermans (BEL/BMC) 1:23
10. Richard Handley (GBR/JLT) 1:26