• Not much separated Dylan Groenewegen from Caleb Ewan at the finish. (Getty)Source: Getty
Dylan Groenewegen beat a late crash and Australian Caleb Ewan to win the opening stage of the Tour of Yorkshire.
By
Cycling Central

29 Apr 2017 - 7:58 AM 

The crash came in the finishing straight just as the sprinters were lining up for their final burst leaving Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Ewan (Orica-Scott) and Chris Opie (BIKE Channel Canyon) to contest the placings.

"I am pleased that I could sprint for the stage win," Groenewegen said. "It was a hard stage and on the climb I was in the second group.

"We knew the climb (at Robin Hood's Bay) was heavy. I was pretty tired, but the team brought me back well. It was important to win here. This is what you do it for.

"I felt my legs and dropped back. Fortunately, Tom Leezer was there and dropped back from the front. In the last straight line, Bouhanni started sprinting. He shifted a bit, leaving space for me. Finally, Ewan came close, but I had the win."

After the initial eight-rider eight break faltered inside the final 30km, with just two resisting until the 6km mark, the stage belonged to the sprinters.

Orica-Scott, LottoNL-Jumbo and Cofidis made their intentions clear as they controlled the peloton into a difficult finale.

Crosswinds and the final bend created the conditions for a high-speed crash in the finish, one which decimated the peloton, costing Orica-Scott the services of Magnus Cort for the duration of the event, out with a broken collarbone.