One million people cheer on Tour de Yorkshire cyclists in Doncaster

Team Sky rider Danny Van Poppel takes the stage win after a bunch sprint. Tour de Yorkshire - Stage 2 between Otley and Doncaster. Saturday 30th April 2016. Picture: Chris Etchells
Team Sky rider Danny Van Poppel takes the stage win after a bunch sprint. Tour de Yorkshire - Stage 2 between Otley and Doncaster. Saturday 30th April 2016. Picture: Chris Etchells
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Over one million spectators came out to cheer on the riders for the second day of the Tour de Yorkshire, as the county celebrated a ground breaking day for women’s cycling.

Over one million spectators came out to cheer on the riders for the second day of the Tour de Yorkshire, as the county celebrated a ground breaking day for women’s cycling.

Glorious sunshine started the day in Otley for the hotly anticipated Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race where World Champion Lizzie Armitstead led the peloton out of her hometown.

Crowds bigger than those who witnessed the Grand Départ in Otley cheered on as 100 of the world’s best female riders took part including Rio hopeful Emma Pooley; Dani King and Lucy Garner from British squad Wiggle High5, Hitec Products brought one of the world’s strongest sprinters Kirsten Wild and Dame Sarah Storey took part - Great Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian in history.

Speaking before the start Lizzie Armitstead, racing in her World Champions jersey for the first time in the UK, paid tribute to her home town of Otley and the immense support she was receiving.

The 136km race was a game changer for women’s cycling as it took the same route as the men’s and offered over £50,000 (€63,623) - currently the biggest prize pot in women’s cycling.

The winner of the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire was Kirsten Wild from Team Hitec Products who crossed the finish line in Doncaster before thousands of cheering fans.

It was then back to Otley for the men’s race which took the same route, flowing up through crowd lined routes in Thorner and Aberford and then onto Sherburn in Elmet where thousands of locals filled the centre.

There was more excitement in South Milford, Monk Fryston and Hillam, through to Pontefract and past Wentbridge House Hotel where a bride and groom and wedding guests came out to cheer on the peloton as it raced past.

And the crowds continued for both races through Sprotbrough and Cote de Conisbrough Castle, then Tickhill and Bawtry before riders headed for the finish at a heaving Doncaster.

The winner of the Tour de Yorkshire Men’s Race was Danny van Poppel from Team Sky.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “Today has been an historic day for women’s cycling and it’s been a spectacular day of racing. The crowds were once again phenomenal and to see how the people of Yorkshire have taken this event to their hearts is just overwhelming. There was so much spirit and positivity in Yorkshire today it was magnificent to see. Clearly the one thing we would have changed if we could was the fact we had intermittent live TV coverage but I must stress that safety is paramount.

“We are now focussed on the day ahead tomorrow from Middlesbrough to Scarborough which promises to be an exhilarating race!”

Overall, the winner of the blue Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire jersey was Kirsten Wild; her Hitech teammate Lauren Kitchen took the navy jersey of the Aunt Bessie’s sprint; Rossella Ratto of Cyclance Pro Cycling won the pink Mug Shot Queen of the Mountain jersey; the Howden’s Joinery/RNLI white jersey for best young newcomer went to Lucy Garner and the purple best team classification was awarded by Doncaster Sheffield Airport/Flybe to the Great Britain team.