What a fantastic day of racing to cap a truly wonderful three days in Yorkshire.
Bradford to Fox Valley Sheffield, 194.5km
Serge Pauwels and Omar Fraile made it a one-two over the line for Dimension Data, wrapping up the top steps of the podium for both the stage win and the overall. There is nothing more joyful than a double salute over the line. Direct Energie’s Jonathan Hivert claimed third on the day and GC. The Mountains jersey went to Pieter Weening (Roompot) after a terrific tussle with BIKE Channel Canyon’s Dexter Gardias (and yes Dexter went on to take the combativity award). Caleb Ewan (Orica Scott) retained the points jersey.
And the best team award went too….
Never mind a tip of the cap, it’s time to throw hats into the air to celebrate the way Dimension Data bossed this stage. Bernie Eisel controlled the front of the peloton for most of the day. Scott Thwaites and Jacques Jansie van Rensburg set the attack up on the Cote de Wigtwizzle. Fraile blocked the chase group as Pauwels soloed away, and then just took off to join roommate in the final 2km to ensure the victory. The best team classification was the icing on the cake.
Orica Scott’s Caleb Ewan fought his way over the climbs in the blue leader’s jersey with a huge amount of pride. A trip to the podium for the points prize was very well deserved.
This race is so special. Yes, huge crowds cheer the racing – 3 days. 2.2 million people roadside – but it’s so much more. As Mark Christian from Aqua Blue puts it in this Cycling Weekly interview : “The people of Yorkshire really celebrate the race coming in, they don’t just stand and watch it go by, they’re all out having barbecues, balloons, flags up, everything, they’re really taking to it which is great to see.”
It wasn’t just the professionals on the road either…
Our very own Giro guest reviewer Fabrizio Viani completed the sportive #Chapeau
Full report at Cycling News
Header image: Sprint finish © KT/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images