Dutch sprinter Moreno Hofland sealed LottoNL-Jumbo’s first win of the season by taking the bunch sprint in York on stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire.
Hofland left it until the last minute to spring his attack, as BMC’s Greg van Avermaet‘s late burst was reeled back in.
IAM Cycling’s Matteo Pelucchi and Giant-Alpecin’s Ramon Sinkeldam both looked as if they could usurp Hofland before the line, but the rider in yellow and black held on for the win.
The day’s breakaway comprising Matt Brammeier (MTN-Qhubeka), Mark McNally (Madison-Genesis), Andy Tennant (Team Wiggins), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Stijn Steels (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Ivar Slik (Roompot-Oranje) and Giovanni Bernardeau (Europcar).
McNally and De Backer were the final two riders on the road the Madison-Genesis rider could not keep up with his WorldTour counterpart and dropped back with 5.5km to go.
De Backer wasn’t to be beaten, however, continuing alone until Cofidis rider Loic Chetout bridged the gap alone. When the bunch caught the pair, Van Avermaet tried to take them by surprise by launching a lone attack with 700m to go.
The BMC man looked to have enough distance to hold on, but couldn’t keep the sprint to the line, eventually overcome by Hofland and co. Yorkshire’s Russell Downing, riding for Cult Energy Pro, crossed the line in seventh, while Harry Tanfield (JLT-Condor) was ninth.
Before the race LottoNL-Jumbo were the only WorldTour team without a win in 2015, but Hofland says he hopes to carry this confidence into the Giro d’Italia, which starts next weekend.
Tour de Yorkshire stage two: Selby – York (174km)
1. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, 3:57:58
2. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling, st
3. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Giant-Alpecin, st
4. J.P. Drucker (Lux) BMC, st
5. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Roompot Oranje Peloton, st
6. Andre Looij (Ned) Roompot Oranje Peloton, st
7. Russell Downing (Gbr) Cult Energy Pro, st
8. Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka, st
9. Harry Tanfield (Gbr) JLT-Condor, st
10. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen, st
1. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky, 8:20:26
2. Samuel Sanchez (Esp) BMC, at 10sec
3. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar, st
4. Stephane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, at 12sec
5. Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Sky, at 16sec
6. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, at 1m18
7. Greg van Avermaet (Bel) BMC, at 1m20
8. Erick Rowsell (Gbr) Madison-Genesis, st
9. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC, at 1m23
10. Richard Handley (Gbr) JLT-Condor, at 1m26