The 2nd Tour de Yorkshire stage would eventually come down to the expected bunch sprint with Moreno Hofland (Lotto-Jumbo) taking the victory. Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) was 2nd with Ramon Sinkledam (Giant-Alpecin) 3rd. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had both Andy Stauff and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg in the mix, crossing the line in 8th and 11th respectively.
The days racing would see none other than Matt Brammeier jumping into the 8 rider breakaway for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung. Matt and his fellow escapees fought hard to establish a lead close to 7 minutes. Team Sky assumed the chase early on to protect their GC lead.
With the race ending with a couple of circuits around York, the sprinters teams were always expected to come to the fore, and they did. LottoNL-Jumbo took hold of the reigns as we approached town and really clawed back at the break. Matt and his fellow breakaway companions could feel the pressure and started attacking one another with 25km to go.
The sprinters teams would prove too much for the break though and by the final km it was all together. Not even a late attack in the final km by Greg van Avermaet (BMC) could stop Hofland from winning. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were riding to set up Gerald Ciolek and Reinie for the finish but it was Andy who got his first top 10 result of the year while Reinie was 11th.
Matt Brammeier – Rider
A big group went from the start and I had to make a big effort to go across and make sure we had somebody there. I was feeling good until the final 20kms. After a week of the bike last week the condition isn’t super but it’s on its way up heading into my next important block of races. Of course I always like to show myself in the breakaways, it is a characteristic of mine and something I enjoy. I really want to go the Tour and I think the team want to send riders who can go in the breakaways so I want to take every opportunity possible.
Andy Stauff – Rider
The plan was actually to lead out Reinie but we lost each other with 2km to go. I dropped my chain and punctured on the circuit and had to chase for about 20km to come back to the peloton just as we entered the final lap. I had spent a lot of energy so was not really fresh anymore but the adrenaline was pumping so I pushed myself to do the lead out once more. We were well positioned and Steve did a superb job to keep us in front. The final 3k was super technical and everyone was fighting for position, there were no trains, just chaos. The sprint was super fast and I was missing that final kick but it felt good to be up there after injury. Now I am a bit more confident with the next block of racing that includes Bayern, World Ports and Berlin.
Jens Zemke – Head of Performance
With having Matt Brammeier in the break of 8 guys our other boys could take it a bit easier in the bunch while other teams were having to chase. Andy Stauff, riding as our final leadout man came 8th, so our fast guys Reinardt and Gerald must have lost his wheel. We are now focusing on tomorrow’s hardest stage around Leeds where the organisers are expecting huge crowds again. This race absolutely has a Tour de France atmosphere.