Yorkshire seems to be a happy hunting ground for the Dutch after van Poppel won a chaotic sprint. The 22-year-old took his first victory since joining for Team Sky at the start of this year, in a very tight sprint at the end of the 136-kilometre stage between Otley and Doncaster.
Compatriot Dylan Groenewegen retained the over all lead after finishing second, with German Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) third, with Chris Opie (One Pro Cycling) top Briton in fourth place.
Watch: Video highlights of Tour de Yorkshire stage two
Van Poppel’s win follows that of countrywoman Kirsten Wild in this morning’s women’s race making the weekend a resounding success for the Netherlands.
The stage was always billed as one likely to finish in a sprint, and the peloton allowed a group of six riders to escape virtually as soon as the flag dropped. Despite building a lead in excess of two minutes before the first climb after 11 kilometres, the short 136km stage meant the group was never allowed too much of a lead, race leader Groenewegen’s LottoNL-Jumbo team pegging it to around 1-30.
The group, comprised of Rich Handley (One Pro Cycling), Gruff Lewis (Madison Genesis), Stijn Steels (TopSport-Vlaanderen), Michael Mørkøv (Katusha), Josh Edmondson and Edmund Bradbury (both NFTO), worked together, with Handley cresting both classified climbs in first place.
Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) attacked after the feed zone, just over 50km from the finish in Doncaster, the Frenchman eventually bridging the gap to the six leaders not long before the second intermediate sprint.
With 36km to go and the gap closing on the final classified climb at Conisbrough Castle, Rich Handley again bagged all the mountains and with it took over the lead in the Mountains classification from One Pro team mate Pete Williams.
The final 30km saw the leading group down to four riders, Handley, Lewis and Bradbury having returned to the peloton, which itself was working hard to close the gap, which they had reduced to just 20 seconds with 115 of the 136km behind them.
After being left to dangle on the front by a peloton led by the combined forces of Sky, BMC, Orica-GreenEdge and LottoNL-Jumbo, the catch finally made with ten kilometres to go.
With the catch made, it was Team Sky who led the bunch into the final kilometres for their new man to take their second win of the day after Chris Froome’s success in Switzerland.
Tomorrow’s third and final 198km stage of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire between Middlesbrough and Scarborough is the longest and most challenging of the race and is unlikely to end in a third sprint finish.
Tour de Yorkshire 2016 result
Stage two: Otley to Doncaster, 136km
1. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky in 3-04-20
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
4. Chris Opie (GBr) One Pro Cycling
5. Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis
6. Albert Torres (Spa) Raleigh-GAC
7. Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
8. Christopher Lawless (GBr) JLT Condor
9. Russell Downing (GBr) JLT Condor
10. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-GreenEdge all same time
General classification after stage two
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Lotto-Jumbo in 8-13-15
2. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky at 6 secs
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant Alpecin at 8 secs
4. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica GreenEdge at 10 secs
5. Gruffudd Lewis (GBr) Madison-Genesis at 12 secs
6. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis at 13 secs
7. Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen at 13 secs
8. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie at 14 secs
9. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data at 15 secs
10. Richard Handley (GBr) One Pro Cycling at 15 secs