HUGE crowds watched Magnus Cort Nielsen launch a stinging late attack in Ilkley to win the Tour de Yorkshire’s second stage which began in Barnsley.

The final climb - the ‘Cote de Cow and Calf’ - was bathed in sunshine for the culmination of day two and the action proved equally colourful as some of the best riders in the business battled it out for an historic stage success.

Dane Nielsen took control of the blue leader’s jersey.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said: “It’s been another great day. We had a fantastic finish to the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race and experienced brilliant crowds for both races. Barnsley and Ilkley proved themselves admirable host towns and the glorious weather helped us show off the county once again.

“Every town and village we went through was full of people and the imaginative ways they chose to celebrate the races passing was truly heart-warming to see.

“The finale of the men’s race was really exciting and the riders looked shattered as they crossed the line. They’ll sleep well tonight and then be good to go again in Richmond tomorrow.”

Stage two winner Magnus Cort Nielsen said: “It was a relatively short stage today but a really hard one. My team supported me and I am very grateful to them for believing in me. I gave everything I had in that uphill sprint to the line and now I want to defend this jersey.

“I’m really enjoying this race. It’s not a WorldTour race but with the crowds it certainly feels like it.”