Nordhaug wins inaugural Tour de Yorkshire

The Norwegian cyclist tops the podium as winner of this new three-day road cycling race

Photos: © A.S.O. / G. Demouveaux  Nordhaug in the center of the podium with the overall win, flanked by Samuel Sanchez (right) in second and Thomas Voeckler in third place.

Photos: © A.S.O. / G. Demouveaux
Nordhaug in the center of the podium with the overall win, flanked by Samuel Sanchez (right) in second and Thomas Voeckler in third place.

Molly Jones
Norwegian American Weekly

In the lead from day one, Norwegian road bicycle racer Lars Petter Nordhaug dominated the competition in the first ever Tour de Yorkshire. The 30-year-old athlete representing Team Sky claimed the overall victory on May 3, with a lead of 11 seconds ahead of Samuel Sanchez in second place and Thomas Voeckler in third.

The county of Yorkshire hosted the first two stages of the 2014 Tour de France—from Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield—so successfully that the three-day Tour de Yorkshire was added to the UCI Europe Tour this year. Organized by Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation, the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire featured 18 cycling teams and attracted over a million spectators.

On May 1, the race began with the 174-kilometer stage from Bridlington to Scarborough. Starting among the coastal scenery of the North Sea coast, the racers traveled through the North York Moors, Dalby Forest, Robin Hood’s Bay, and ended with a sprint finish along the Scarborough seafront.

Nordhaug won the final sprint ahead of Thomas Voeckler and Stéphane Rossetto, earning both the stage win and the points classification.

The next day, the cyclers continued with another 174-kilometer route, starting in Selby Alley and making its way through historic York.

Photo: © A.S.O. / G. Demouveaux  Above: Nordhaug leads the pack through the village of North Grimston in Stage Two of the race.

Photo: © A.S.O. / G. Demouveaux
Above: Nordhaug leads the pack through the village of North Grimston in Stage Two of the race.

Nordhaug started off the second stage with a four-second lead, and remained in first place overall despite the stage victory by Moreno Hofland of Belgium.

May 3 was the final and most-challenging day of the Tour de Yorkshire. The third stage of 167 kilometers featured six brutal climbs as the competitors made their way from Wakefield to the finish line in Roundhay Park in Leeds.

The stage three victory went to BMC’s Ben Hermans; Nordhaug came in sixth place in this difficult stage.

“It was a very tough last round, but the team did a great job, so I felt like I had control the whole day,” commented Nordhaug.

With this strong finish following two incredible days, Nordhaug secured the overall victory—with 11 seconds to spare.

“It has been absolutely crazy. Just like riding in a big stage of the Tour de France. A fantastic atmosphere. Obviously, it is extra cool to win,” said Nordhaug to VG of the first Tour de Yorkshire.

Of course, a win at the Tour de Yorkshire was especially important for Team Sky, as the British team was competing on their home turf, noted Nordhaug.

TV 2’s cycling expert Mads Kaggestad is thrilled to see Nordhaug succeed and contribute to the impressive success of Norwegian cycling this season: “It’s historic in that it is the first edition of the race. In addition, it is great that Norway is doing so well at the moment. Alexander Kristoff is ravaging the professional ranks and Team Joker is thriving at the level below. Now Lars Petter is finally achieving his potential; he is a great athlete,” commented Kaggestad to procycling.no.

“Lars Petter is really strong, and with the run he had in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the rest of the classics this spring, it is not surprising that he won in Yorkshire. He is one of the field’s strongest riders in hilly terrain,” added Kaggestad.

Now that Nordhaug has this impressive victory behind him, the Norwegian is looking forward to the Tour of Norway, coming up on May 20 to 24.

“Now I’m going to relax a bit, and then I hope that I’ll be in the best shape possible for Tour of Norway,” he told VG.

The Tour of Norway is sure to be an exciting race this year, with the big names in Norwegian cycling—Alexander Kristoff, Edvald Boasson Hagen, and Lars Petter Nord­haug—all gearing up to race.

This article originally appeared in the May 15, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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