• Rick Zabel crosses the finish line to win stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire (Getty)Source: Getty
Rick Zabel (Katusha-Alpecin) took a rare sprinting opportunity with both hands as he took victory in Stage 2 of the Tour de Yorkshire.
SBS Cycling Central

4 May 2019 - 8:23 AM  UPDATED 4 May 2019 - 8:31 AM

The German normally acts as a leadout man but it was his turn to be the man going for finishing line glory and he made the most of the opportunity as he emerged from a crowded pack to take the win. 

"I’m so, so happy to win a race," said Zabel. "I really couldn’t believe it. I just realised it when I went to the podium and I was standing here. Tears came to my eyes.

"As a bike rider you want to win, and my last win was four years ago. Normally I am a leadout guy and I don’t have too many chances for myself. It’s just a super nice day for me that I can see ways to win races at the professional level.” 

Zabel finished ahead of Boy van Poppel (Roompot-Charles) and Chris Lawless (Team INEOS) on the 132k stage from Barnsley to Bedale.

Zabel's win came at the end of a messy stage, where a small group of late attackers were hauled back with 4 kilometres to go and then a hectic final few kilometres saw Dimension Data lead Mark Cavendish into the final 500 metres in good position.

"I don't know how," said Zabel, "but I came in a good position in the last 500 metres, then I saw the 300 metres sign and I know I can do a long sprint.

"I thought 'OK, I must go for it. If someone comes over me at least I tried.' I was so afraid when I came in the last 50 metres because I'm not a guy who wins often and I thought today maybe I can win, and I was so afraid if someone comes over - it was such a relief when I crossed the line.”

The Tour de Yorkshire continues with Stage 3, a 132 kilometre stage from Bridlington to Scarborough that incorporates part of the world championship road race course for Yorkshire 2019.