Voeckler wins Tour of Yorkshire after sprint finish

Sun May 1, 2016 3:29pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Thomas Voeckler, the popular French veteran rider, secured overall victory in the Tour de Yorkshire on Sunday with a sprint finish triumph in the 198km final stage from Middlesbrough to Scarborough.

Voeckler, the 36-year-old Direct Energie rider, demonstrated all his vast experience in the professional saddle when outfoxing and outsprinting nearest rival Nicolas Roche to take the title by a mere six seconds overall.

Team Sky's Roche had suffered a momentary lapse of concentration which allowed Voeckler to launch his sprint from 300 meters out and build up just enough of an advantage over the Irishman to hold on for the decisive stage win at the line.

The Tour, which has grown from the extraordinary success of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire, again drew huge crowds with more than two million spectators estimated to have lined the route over the three days.

(Writing by Ian Chadband, editing by Ed Osmond)

Europcar rider Thomas Voeckler of France cycles during the 13.8 km (8.57 miles) individual time-trial first stage of the 102nd Tour de France cycling race in Utrecht, Netherlands, July 4, 2015.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini