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French rider outsprints Nicolas Roche on Scarborough seafront

Thomas Voeckler of Direct Energie has won the second edition of the Tour de Yorkshire, taking the stage win – and the overall victory – in a head-to-head sprint with Team Sky’s Nicolas Roche. Orica-GreenEdge’s Adam Yates finished third on the stage, but third place overall went to Cofidis rider Anthony Turgis.

The final 198km stage from Middlesbrough to Scarborough had barely an inch of flat ground after the riders began the first of five categorised climb, the Category 1 Cote du Sutton Bank with gradients of up to 25 per cent.

The relentlessly undulating parcours had an attritional effect on the main bunch, driven by Team Sky with Peter Kennaugh doing a huge turn at the front in the British national champion’s jersey.

On the day’s final ascent, the Cote de Oliver’s Mount, crested just six kilometres from the finish, Roche and Voeckler got clear of a group of five riders, the others being Yates, Tuugis and Steve Kruijswijk of LottoNL-Jumbo.

With just two seconds between all five of them at the start of the day and the stage set to be won by one of those riders, bonus seconds were always going to be decisive, and coming under the flamme rouge the two attackers were still clear of their three pursuers.

Voeckler managed to get Roche to come round him inside the closing few hundred metres and took advantage of a lapse of concentration by the Irishman to sprint past him for the stage and overall victory.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.