Gabz Cullaigh taking positives from Tour de Yorkshire results

ONE of the features of this year’s men’s Tour de Yorkshire was the performance of riders from the White Rose county.

Gabriel Cullaigh.

Scott Thwaites, from Burley-in-Wharfedale, finished eighth, the highest placing by a Yorkshire rider in the race’s history, and Doncaster’s Connor Swift was ninth.

Robert Scott of Hebden Bridge spent a day in the climber’s red jersey, namesake Jacob – from Holmfirth – was most active rider on stage two and local squad SwiftCarbon were 11th in the team classification with their rider James Shaw finishing fifth overall.

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Also worthy of note was the performance from another Holmfirth rider Gabriel Cullaigh who placed 16th in the general classification (GC).

“I messed up a bit on Saturday, my GC chances, but these things happen,” reflected Cullaigh who finished one minute 43 seconds behind winner Alexander Kamp on the penultimate stage from Bridlington to Scarborough.

“I wanted to try and get a result on the [final] stage and I was eighth, which, for a big guy like me, I’ve got to be happy with.”

Cullaigh, who rides for Team Wiggins, was fifth on the first stage into Selby, from Doncaster and admitted two top-10 finishes in a world class field was a pleasing result.

“In all honesty I came into the race wanting more, but it was a good standard so I have got to be happy and I can take a lot from it moving forward,” he added.

The race had a surprise overall winner in Team Ineos’s Chris Lawless, a former Wiggins rider.

Cullaigh said: “Fair play to him, I have grown up racing with him and to see him stay with Greg van Avermaet on the final climb and then go on and win was just brilliant.

“The final stage was hard, but it was good. The crowds were the most impressive thing of the day, they stole the show.

“It was incredible and when you are suffering it really helps spur you on and keeps you going.

“It was an incredible day out.”