Van Avermaet wins Tour de Yorkshire

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) took overall victory at the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire, as Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) scored a sensational solo victory on the final stage of the race. It was 34 seconds later that Van Avermaet won the sprint for second, while Ian Bibby (JLT Condor) rounded off the podium.

Already having been in the break on stage 2, Rossetto was out front on his own for almost 120km of the 189.5km queen stage. The 31-year-old was part of the day’s initial break, attacking after 40km and then shedding his final break-mate on the hardest climb of the race before embarking on his lonely quest.

Van Avermaet’s victory came after Eddie Dunbar (Aqua Blue Sport) had blown up the race up on the final climb of the day, 18km from the line. With race leader Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) dropped and four BMC riders in the lead group, all that remained was for the American squad to fend off any attacks before the Belgian completed the job in the sprint.

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Rossetto, who also won the mountains classification, compared the “amazing” race to the Tour de France after finishing, and cited Sylvain Chavanel and Vincenzo Nibali as inspirations for his fighting style.

“It’s one of the most beautiful victories of my career,” he said. “I’m very moved. It’s a huge win and a real life lesson – it shows if you work hard it pays off. I’m a bit of an old-fashioned rider, never over-calculating or over-analysing things. I like to get out there and take it on.”

The overall victory marks Van Avermaet’s second victory of the year, and his first since the Tour of Oman in February. Eduard Prades (Euskadi-Murias) took second overall, nine seconds down, while Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) was third at 14 seconds.

How it happened

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