Tour de Yorkshire: Harry Tanfield claims stage one win ahead of Mark Cavendish

Harry Tanfield wins in Doncaster
Tanfield won Commonwealth time trial silver on the road last month

Mark Cavendish's hopes of winning the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire were left in ruins after fellow Briton Harry Tanfield won in Doncaster.

Cavendish, returning from injury after fracturing a rib in a crash in March, finished in the peloton as the expected bunch sprint failed to materialise.

Instead, Canyon Eisberg rider Tanfield, 23, won the sprint for the line from what was left of a six-man breakaway.

Alistair Slater was second with fellow Briton Michael Cuming in third.

Tanfield, who won Commonwealth Games silver in the time trial last month, said on ITV4: "I wouldn't call it a sprint - it was more a time trial to the line.

"We were all committed to the finish, everyone was pretty tired, everyone was pulling hard and it just worked out."

Team Dimension Data rider Cavendish - winner of 30 stages at the Tour de France - said before the race that there were "opportunities on the first day and the third day I will be looking to make the most of" but after allowing the break to build a lead of more than five minutes on the 182km race from Beverley, the peloton left their chase too late.

Cavendish's team-mates were joined by several other teams, including the Vital Concept riders of French hope Bryan Coquard in trying to reel in the break but it proved a rare day when it succeeded.

Coquard was second in the peloton, seventh overall, with Cavendish rolling over in 93rd on the same time as the rest of the main bunch, who all finished five seconds behind the leading group.

Great Britain's Ben Swift said: "It should have been (an easy catch). But full credit to them. I don't know if there was panic, it's just the way it was. Maybe we underestimated the strength of the break."

It was an excellent performance from Tanfield, who was part of an initial group of six riders to break clear.

The group contained four British riders - Tanfield, JLT Condor's Slater, Cuming of Madison Genesis and Tom Baylis of One Pro Cycling as well as US Rally Cycling rider Emerson Oronte and Frenchman Axel Journiaux of Direct Energie.

They established a solid advantage as they worked well together with only Journiaux dropping away late on.

Tanfield exhibited exemplary tactics to power clear at the end, timing his sprint to perfection when it appeared as though he feigning that he had run out of energy.

"I went from the back and built and built and went straight through the middle," he added.

The Yorkshire-born rider will wear the race leader's blue jersey on Friday and also collected the points leader's green jersey and the grey jersey as the most active rider of the day.

"I was going to re-do my room when I got back anyway so I'll get them all framed up," he said. "It'll look outrageous."

Friday's second stage starts in Barnsley and end with the race's first summit finish at the Cow and Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor.

Saturday's third stage starts in Richmond and takes in the North York Moors, before finishing on Scarborough's north shore.

The final stage on Sunday begins in Halifax and involves a gruelling 3,400 metres of climbing before the race reaches its conclusion outside the Town Hall in Leeds, where the 2014 Tour de France began.

Stage one result:

1. Harry Tanfield (GB/Canyon Eisberg) 4hrs 09mins 12secs

2. Alistair Slater (GB/JLT Condor) Same time

3. Michael Cuming (GB/Madison Genesis)

4. Emerson Oronte (USA/Rally Cycling)

5. Tom Baylis (GB/One Pro Cycling)

6. Max Walscheid (Ger/Sunweb) +5secs

7. Bryan Coquard (Fra/Concept Cycling Club) Same time

8. Emils Liepins (Lat/One Pro Cycling)

9. Colin Joyce (USA/Rally Cycling)

10. Riccardo Minali (Ita/Astana Pro Team)

General classification:

1. Harry Tanfield (GB/Canyon Eisberg) Canyon Eisberg 4hrs 07mins 58secs

2. Alistair Slater (GB/JLT Condor) +03secs

3. Michael Cuming (GB/Madison Genesis) +10secs

4. Emerson Oronte (US/Rally Cycling) +14secs

5. Thomas Baylis (GB/One Pro Cycling) Same

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