What conclusions can we draw from three days of racing in God's Own Country?
Dimension Data deliver the perfect team performance
It only happens once in a blue moon, but Dimension Data managed to deliver a famous 1-2 result on the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire, providing the sort of finish line photo that team sponsors drool over.
What was most impressive about Dimension Data’s performance was that they managed to pull it off on what must be one of the toughest finishing circuits in world cycling.
First of all they put three riders in the front group, something that only BMC Racing also managed, before Jacques Janse Van Rensburg raised the pace three climbs from home.
He didn’t open a gap, but provided the launching pad for Pauwels to attack, quickly opening an advantage of 30 seconds.
Behind, Fraile was able to disrupt the chase, before making an opportunist move in the final kilometres, jumping across to his team-mate who he then ushered across the line to take the glory.
Lizzie Deignan puts her difficult start to the season behind her
After enduring a difficult start to the year, Lizzie Deignan couldn’t have hoped for a better way to take her first win of the season than a solo victory in the most lucrative race in women’s cycling.
This was the furthest into a season that Deignan had gone without a win since 2013, but she certainly wasn’t short of confident as she moved clear with team-mate Anna Van der Breggen and Dani King (Cylance) on the race’s only classified climb, before attacking in the final 10km to take a solo victory.
Deignan was clearly in good form after a succession of second places (all behind Van der Breggen) in the Ardennes Classics, but look exceptionally strong as she powered along on home roads to put the disappointment of the early season, and last year’s race, well and truly behind her.
British fans might be disappointed with Sky’s showing
We’re sure there are reasons for Team Sky only taking six riders to the Tour de Yorkshire rather than the maximum number of eight, but surely British fans deserve more from their premier team.
Sky will only ride four races on British soil this year, so fans might hope that Britain best team could enter a full team at every event, even if the timing isn’t ideal given the clash with the Tour de Romandie and the Giro d’Italia just a week away.
The team have managed to put out a full team at both of the previous editions of the Tour de Yorkshire (where they also achieved better results), and also managed to field a full team at the Tour de Romandie this week.
The good thing was that even if the results weren’t there, Sky were at least prominent at the front of the peloton, giving the thousands of roadside fans something to cheer.
Domestic teams hold their own
Despite the presence of seven WorldTour teams in the race, the British domestic teams more than managed to hold their own at the Tour de Yorkshire.
Madison Genesis, Bike Channel-Canyon, One Pro Cycling, Raleigh GAC, and JLT Condor all managed to make it into the various breaks over the course of the three days, while there were also good results at the finish too.
Chris Opie (Bike Channel-Canyon) took third on stage one, Chris Lawless (Great Britian) took fifth on stage two, and Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis) produced a superb ride on the final day to finish fifth overall.
Yorkshire knows how to support a bike race
Ok, we knew this one already from previous editions of the Tour de Yorkshire and the 2014 Tour de France, but the Yorkshire fans really know how to get out at the side of the road and cheer on a bike race.
The fans by the side of the road, especially during stages two and three, must have numbered in the hundreds of thousands, with some crowds in the middle of towns being 10-15 deep.
The only way the organisers could have hoped for better crowds was to start the race on the Saturday and run it for three days over the bank holiday weekend, ensuring no one has to miss the action for less important things like work.