Van Aver­maet wins record­break­ing Tour de York­shire

Over 2.6 mil­lion fans flock to watch 2018 race over sun-drenched bank hol­i­day week­end

The Scarborough News - - SPORTS - BY SPORTS RE­PORTER Daniel.gre­gory@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @SN_S­port

The 2018 Tour de York­shire was of­fi­cially the big­gest and best one yet with 2.6 mil­lion fans lin­ing the route over the four days. No less than 900,000 road­side spec­ta­tors wit­nessed a grip­ping con­clu­sion on Sun­day with Greg Van Aver­maet (BMC Rac­ing) wrap­ping up the over­all victory af­ter Stéphane Ros­setto (Cofidis, So­lu­tions Cred­its) had se­cured a sen­sa­tional stage win.

Ros­setto’s ride will go down in York­shire folk­lore af­ter the French­man launched an au­da­cious solo at­tack with 120km of the bru­tally tough ‘York­shire Ter­rier’ re­main­ing, and the 31-year-old evaded a vastly re­duced pelo­ton to seal the big­gest stage win of his ca­reer and top the best climber clas­si­fi­ca­tion, spon­sored by Vir­gin Trains in the process.

Not sur­pris­ingly, Ros­setto was also awarded the grey most ac­tive rider jersey spon­sored by Di­men­sion Data.

Van Aver­maet sprinted home 37 sec­onds be­hind Ros­setto in sec­ond place to tie up the race leader’s blue jersey, spon­sored by York­shire Bank Bike Li­braries, nine sec­onds ahead of Spaniard Ed­uard Prades Rev­erter (Euskadi Basque Coun­try-Murias).

Last year’s race win­ner Serge Pauwels (Team Di­men­sion Data) rounded out the podium, five sec­onds fur­ther adrift.

The bonus points Van Aver­maet ac­crued on the line also saw him win the best sprinter clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

Van Aver­maet said: “I’m happy I could achieve the race win because it was cer­tainly not easy to­day.

“The fans were amaz­ing, and for the whole four days ac­tu­ally. I re­mem­ber from the Tour de France, and when I last raced here in 2015, what it was like, and with this sunny weather even more fans came out. It was re­ally spe­cial.

“The par­cours was fan­tas­tic as well with a lot of vari­a­tion over the four stages and this race def­i­nitely de­serves its place on the cal­en­dar.

“I hope to come back and de­fend my ti­tle next year.”

Wel­come to York­shire Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Sir Gary Ver­ity said: “I’m so proud of the last four days. It takes such a lot of work to make this race hap­pen.

“All the high­ways teams and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties across York­shire worked so hard to make sure ev­ery­thing was ready and we’re hugely grate­ful to the emer­gency ser­vices as well.

“This race wouldn’t be what it is with­out our great part­ners, and of course, I like to say a mas­sive thank you to all the male and fe­male rid­ers who came and pro­duced such a grip­ping event.

“Greg Van Aver­maet was a more than wor­thy win­ner and that gutsy ride from Stéphane Ros­setto will live long in the mem­ory.

“Fi­nally, I have to men­tion the crowds as well. Once again, they were un­be­liev­able and it was like be­ing back at the 2014 Tour de France.

“Ev­ery start and fin­ish was ab­so­lutely rammed and there were so many high points along the route that I’ll need to take a few days to let it all sink in.”

Max Wals­ceid of Team Gi­ant Sun­web races to the iconic fin­ish line at Scar­bor­ough’s North Bay, seal­ing him victory in stage three of the Tour de York­shire

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