Tour de Yorkshire: Magnus Cort Nielsen wins summit finish at Cow and Calf

Magnus Cort Nielsen
Magnus Cort Nielsen took the race leader's blue jersey from Britain's Harry Tanfield

Magnus Cort Nielsen won the Tour de Yorkshire's first ever summit finish on Friday as stage two's race provided another surprise winner.

Belgian Greg van Avermaet was among the favourites to win the race to the Cow and Calf rocks on Ilkley Moor and he led into the final 100m.

However, Danish Astana rider Cort Nielsen timed his effort to perfection, and also takes the overall race lead.

"This is the longest uphill finish I've won on," said Cort Nielsen.

He claimed 10 bonus seconds and took the race leader's blue jersey from Britain's Harry Tanfield, who was the surprise winner of stage one but fell away on Friday's penultimate climb.

Cort Nielsen leads Van Avermaet, who finished second, by four seconds with two stages remaining.

Saturday's stage three is expected to end in a bunch sprint in Scarborough, while Sunday's finale is another gruelling, hilly race which will finish in Leeds.

When asked if it was now his intention to contest the overall win, Cort Neilsen simply replied: "Yes."

It was a tremendous finish to delight the thousands of fans that had trekked or ridden up the 1.8km climb from the West Yorkshire town of Ilkley.

Defending champion Serge Pauwels of the Dimension Data team attacked first in the final kilometre but Van Avermaet tracked him and moved past with 200m to go in what looked like the decisive move.

However, Cort Nielsen suddenly appeared and proved the strongest.

Earlier, French rider Stephane Rossetto of the Cofidis team had gone on a solo attack. He was joined in the break by British riders Tobyn Horton and Tom Baylis, who had also ridden in stage one's break, and Garikoitz Bravo of Spain.

With around 37km remaining, they were briefly led off the race route and into oncoming traffic, a diversion that cost them half of their two-minute lead and ended any hopes they had of holding on to the finish.

Rossetto pushed on solo again but was caught on the penultimate climb of the day, the Cote de Old Pool Bank.

Stage two result:

1. Magnus Cort (Den/Astana Pro Team) 3hrs 25mins 34secs

2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/BMC Racing Team) Same time

3. Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa/Euskadi Basque Country-Murias)

4. Serge Pauwels (Bel/Dimension Data)

5. Jonathan Hivert (Fra/Direct Energie) +5secs

6. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro/Katusha-Alpecin) Same time

7. Michael Storer (Aus/Team Sunweb)

8. Colin Joyce (USA/Rally Cycling)

9. Steff Cras (Bel/Katusha-Alpecin) +11secs

10. Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC Racing Team) Same time

General classification:

1. Magnus Cort (Den/Astana Pro Team) 7hrs 33mins 41secs

2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/BMC Racing Team) +4secs

3. Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa/Euskadi Basque Country-Murias) +6secs

4. Serge Pauwels (Bel/Dimension Data) +10secs

5. Colin Joyce (USA/Rally Cycling) +15secs

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