• Serge Pauwels took his first pro victory at the end of a gruelling stage. (Getty)Source: Getty
Dimension Data's Serge Pauwels took his first pro victory at the end of a tough final Tour of Yorkshire stage.
By
Cycling Central

1 May 2017 - 8:59 AM  UPDATED 1 May 2017 - 10:18 AM

Pauwels finished just ahead of his Dimension Data team-mate Omar Fraile while third place went to Jonathan Hivert (Direct Energie) who arrived at the finish six seconds later.

The trio also took the first three general classification positions while Australian Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) claimed the points classification for his consistency over the three-stage Tour.

Pauwels opened up a gap on the last few climbs of the 194.5k stage from Bradford to Fox Valley in Sheffield and crossed the finish line ahead of Fraile who had bridged across after covering any attacks from the chasers. The Dimension Data pair then rode the final kilometre together.

"I can’t believe it. This is my first professional victory and I am a little surprised with myself because usually, I prefer longer climbs," Pauwels said.

"Today’s stage lent itself to a really explosive rider and there were no moments of respite. I want to highlight all the work of my team, especially that of Bernhard Eisel, and of course, the presence of Omar Fraile in the final helped me a lot.

"This stage is comparable to Liège-Bastogne-Liège, with perhaps, even more, people on the roadside. The crowds were incredible."

A RESULT FOR EWAN

For Orica-Scott's Caleb Ewan the race result will be a boost ahead of the 5-28 May Giro d'Italia even though it came without a stage win.

“Caleb is in great shape which bodes well for next weeks Giro d’Italia which is a huge event, especially in its centenary year," Orica-Scott sports director Dave McPartland said.

"For Caleb to carry both the leaders and points jersey into the final stage here was no bad thing and it’s great for a young rider to get that experience in front of the huge crowds we’ve seen over the last three days.”