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Zabel wins second stage of Tour de Yorkshire

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London (AFP)

Germany's Rick Zabel won the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire on Friday in a sprint finish after the peloton reeled in the early breakaway in the last few kilometres.

Dutch rider Boy van Poppel was second ahead of Britain's Chris Lawless, with Jesper Asselman continuing in the race lead by one second over Zabel.

Britain's Mark Cavendish ended up in 18th place in stage two, while four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome finished in the middle of the peloton for Team Ineos.

"It was very very hectic. A short stage is always full gas," 25-year-old Zabel told the BBC.

"We raced pretty hard and it started raining in the last 5 km, so it was pure chaos. I was close to crashing a few times because it was chaos out there. I don't know how I came into a good position.

"I thought I could do a long sprint and I thought I must go for it. I'm not a guy who wins often but maybe I can win today. It was such a relief to cross the line first."

Environmental protestors were present at the start of the stage in Barnsley, venting their anger over Ineos's fracking plans.

Froome helped officially launch Team Ineos on Wednesday ahead of the Tour de Yorkshire as the former Team Sky plots to build on a decade of success.

The four-time Tour de France champion is 49th in the general classification after stage two.

Leading results from the 132km second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire from Barnsley to Bedale on Friday:

1. Rick Zabel (GER/Katusha Alpecin) 3 hrs 09 mins 16 sec 2. Boy van Poppel NED/Roompot) same time, 3. Chris Lawless (GBR/Team Ineos) s.t., 4. Andrew Tennant (GBR/Canyon DHB) s.t., 5. Daniel McLay (GBR/Great Britain) s.t.,6. Andreas Nielsen (DEN/Riwal Readynez) s.t., 7. Jonas Van Genechten (BEL/Vital Concept) s.t., 8. Michael Rice (AUS/Hagens Berman) s.t., 9. Cyril Barthe (FRA/EBC) s.t., 10. Connor Swift (GBR/Madison Genesis)

General classification after stage two:

1. Jesper Asselman (NED/Roompot) 7 hrs 14 mins 50 seconds 2. Rick Zabel (GER/Katusha Alpecin) +1 sec 3. Boy van Poppel (NED/Roompot) +5 secs 4. Filippo Fortin (ITA/Cofidis) s.t. 5. Jacob Hennessy (GBR/Canyon DHB) s.t.

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