History repeated itself on the opening stage of the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race with Kirsten Wild sprinting to victory in Doncaster.
Wild triumphed in Doncaster when the race last visited in 2016, and proved her dominance once again with an emphatic sprint to take the overall lead on stage one.
Teams and talent from all over the world descended on Beverley for the start of the newly-expanded two-day Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race, with a host of National, Olympic and World Champions signing on.
The early stages saw a couple of crashes before two riders went on the attack; with 17-year-old Pfeiffer Georgi (Team Jadan-Weldtite Vive le Velo) and Meike Uiterwijk Winkel (Parkhotel Valkenberg) forcing a one-minute lead on the peloton.
As the riders tackled the sole categorised climb of the day - the Cote de Baggaby Hill - the peloton hauled Winkel back but Georgi held on just long enough to take control of the Queen of the Mountains jersey.
Next up was the first intermediate sprint in Pocklington and Great Britain’s Dani Rowe - fresh from her bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games - took maximum points there.
Shortly after that, Natalie Van Gogh (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Anna Christian (Trek Drops) broke clear of the bunch and Christian took maximum points in the next intermediate sprint into Howden. The duo worked well together but the peloton came back together on the approach to Doncaster and the expected bunch sprint finish ensued along Bennetthorpe.
All the favourites were in contention but it was Wild who showed her dominance to take an historic second victory in Doncaster.
The 35 year old Wiggle High 5 rider finished ahead of Amalie Dideriksen of Boels-Dolmans in second place, and Alice Barnes (Canyon Sram Racing) in third.
After the stage Wild said: "My team worked so hard to set me up and I just followed them before the sprint. I like this finish in Doncaster and when I heard it was the same finish line as two years ago I was very excited. It was cool to win here.
"I don't think tomorrow’s stage [which finishes on the Cote de Cow and Calf] will be another sprint but my team has strong girls and lots of cards to play. I think it will be an interesting stage and I will try to help my team-mates to win."
1. Kirsten Wild (NED), Wiggle High 5 3:28:20
2. Amalie Dideriksen (DEN) Boels-Dolmans
3. Alice Barnes (GBR) Canyon Sram Racing
4. Dani Rowe (GBR) Great Britain Cycling Team
5. Natalie Van Gogh (NED) Parkhotel Valenberg
General Classification sponsored by Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries: Kirsten Wild (Wiggle High 5)
Best Sprinter Classification sponsored by Asda: Kirsten Wild (Wiggle High 5)
Best Climber Classification sponsored by Virgin Trains: Pfeiffer Georgi (Team Jadan-Weldtite Vive le Velo)
Most Active Rider Jersey sponsored by Dimension Data Digital Jersey: Anna Christian (Trek-Drops)
Full details on the Eve of Tour Celebrations can be found at www.letouryorkshire.com/information/eve-of-tour
Welcome to Yorkshire has also launched its Tour de Yorkshire Land Art and Best Dressed Competitions. Full details on how to enter those can be found at www.letouryorkshire.com/landart and www.letouryorkshire.com/bestdressed respectively.