Ben Swift and Marcel Kittel abandon race as Nordhaug wins first stage of Tour de Yorkshire

Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Norway's Lars Petter Nordhaug has won the first stage of the Tour de Yorkshire after finishing the 174km race in four hours and 22 minutes, but his team-mate Ben Swift was forced out of the race after a crash.

Nordhaug, of Team Sky, crossed the finish line in Scarborough ahead of second-placed Thomas Voeckler and third-placed Stephane Rossetto, both from France.

Nordhaug's team-mate Ben Swift was forced to abandon the race after falling in the slippy conditions with 50km of the first stage remaining.

Swift, 27, was not alone in falling, though, and was joined by Eddie Dunbar, the youngest rider in the Tour de Yorkshire at 18, who looks to have suffered a potential broken collarbone.

Giant-Alpecin's Marcel Kittel also abandoned the race after reportedly getting off his bike and complaining of feeling ill. Kittel was installed as one of the race favourites after winning the first stage in Harrogate of last year's Tour de France, but has missed recent races because of a virus.

In scenes reminiscent of last year's Tour de France, hundreds of spectators turned out to support the cyclists throughout the race and particularly at the finish in Scarborough.