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Gallery: Dylan Groenewegen wins crash marred sprint on Stage 1 of Tour de Yorkshire

In a bunch sprint marred by a big crash, Dylan Groenewegen wins ahead of Caleb Ewan and Chris Opie. Photos: Jack Elton-Walters

Josh Cunningham
28 Apr 2017

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) has won the first stage of the Tour de Yorkshire in a bunch sprint that marred but a huge crash just behind in the bunch.

The Dutch national champion powered to an impressive victory ahead of Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) and Chris Opie (Bike Channel-Canyon) on Scarborough seafront, but the big crash in the peloton was the main talking point from the final kilometre.

Groenewegen moves into the blue jersey of race leader as a result of his win and the time bonus seconds on offer.

The stage began under overcast skies but in dry weather in Bridlington, and with lots of attacks and breakaway attempts, it took a while for a group to a group to establish itself. 

Eventually it was a group of eight riders that got away: Kamil Gradek (One Pro Cycling), Perrig Quemmeneur (Direct Energie), Etienne Van Empel (Roompot-Oranje), Angel Madrazo (Delko-Marseille), Hank Lowsley-Williams (Bike Channel -Canyon), Connor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport), Yoeri Havik (Raleigh-GAC) and Tobyn Horton (Madison-Genesis).

The break pushed out a lead that never got beyond 5 minutes, and with little less than 100km to go the gap had been pegged to 2 minutes; a sign that the peloton was never going to let the leash out too far. 

Heading into the final 50km and the rolling hills of Yorkshire, the break began to splinter. After the second KOM of Cote de Goathland there were just five left, and by the time the final KOM at Robin Hood's Bay was reached, it was only Conor Dunne and Perrig Quemmeneur left at the front of the race.

Behind, and with 20km to go, the peloton had split into two after the Robin Hood climb. Nacer Bouhanni's Cofidis team and Dimension Data were working at the head of the first peloton, while sprinters Caleb Ewan and eventual winner Dylan Groenewegen caught in the rear. 

The split didn't last though, and with 8km to go the peloton was back together and the leading duo had been reeled back in, with Orica-Scott's Svein Tuft policing the front of the bunch for Ewan. 

With a kilometre to go it was still Orica-Scott on the front, with company in the form of Katusha-Alpecin, but inside the final kilometre it was a disorderly, chaotic mix of riders squabbling for position. 

A touch of wheels meant that a lot of riders came down hard in a big crash inside the final hundred metres, with Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin), Magnus Cort-Nielsen (Orica-Scott) and Russ Downing (JLT-Condor) coming down particularly hard.

But the sprint for the line had already started. 

Nacer Bouhanni was the first to jump, with Ewan coming over the top of him, but it was Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) who came off of Ewan's wheel to take the win, with Chris Opie of Bike Channel-Canyon taking third for the UK continental team.

Photos: Jack Elton-Walters 

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