Max Stedman finished 18th atop the Cote de Cow & Calf as he produced a magnificent performance on the Tour de Yorkshire’s maiden summit finish.
Stage one hero Harry Tanfield retained his points jersey when Magnus Cort Nielsen beat Greg van Avermaet to glory on the second day of the UCI 2.1 contest.
However, Friday’s 149km scrap from Barnsley to Ilkley was marred by the withdrawal of Alex Paton following a collision with a car.
The 27-year-old was struck while he was pacing Tanfield back into the peloton after the former race leader had suffered an early puncture.
He suffered cuts and bruises in the incident, ending his debut appearance in the Tour de Yorkshire.
Chris Opie was also withdrawn midway through the stage having been detatched on the Cote de Blacker Hill amid a frenetic opening to racing.
When the action finally settled down, Andrew Tennant was able to pull Tanfield back to the group where Stedman, Dexter Gardias and James Lowsley-Williams had survived the early skirmishes.
As the flag dropped on the outskirts of Barnsley, attacks came thick and fast. And those digs did not dry up until 50km had been covered.
A move including Team Sky’s Ian Stannard and Ben Swift, representing Great Britain, had forced the pace up.
They crested the Cote de Blacker Hill in front, with Laurens De Vreese, of Astana, leading Stannard and BMC’s Patrick Bevin over the top.
Swift then beat Bevin to the intermediate sprint in Swinton before the half a dozen escapees were brought to heel.
It was then the turn of a four-man group to have a dig, driven by the determined Stephane Rossetto, of Cofidis.
And along with Tobyn Horton, from Madison Genesis, Garikoitz Bravo, of Euskadi Murias, and ONE Pro Cycling’s Tom Baylis, the day’s breakaway was formed.
Baylis, who was spending a second day up the road after finishing fifth behind Tanfield on stage one, took the second sprint in Scholes.
Rossetto was the only one of the quartet remaining out front when the race reached the Cote de Old Pool Bank with 18km remaining.
The Frenchman was soon swept up, though, while Tanfield saw his feint hopes of retaining the race lead disappear when he was dropped.
Madison’s Mike Cuming kicked on to crest the summit first and increase his lead in the king of the mountains competition.
Stedman, meanwhile, was looking comfortable in the top six as the riders set sail on the descent towards the Cote de Cow & Calf finale.
ONE Pro’s Jake Scott hit out around 3km from the foot of the climb but he was reeled in before the heat really cranked up.
Reigning Tour de Yorkshire champion Serge Pauwels produced a manful charge for his Dimension Data outfit amid huge crowds on Ilkley Moor.
He could not shake off BMC’s van Avermaet, though, and when the Belgian countered he looked to have the race sewn up.
Cort Nielsen had other ideas, though, and the Dane, riding for Astana, powered past to take a stunning victory and take the race lead from Tanfield.
Meanwhile Stedman, who had been pulled into position by Lowsley-Williams, kept pushing, picking off rivals to rise to a superb 18th position amid a raft of World Tour stars.
The 22-year-old is now 16th on general classification, just 29 seconds down on Cort Neilsen.
Baylis was awarded the most combative rider jersey after winning the public vote on Twitter.
Click here for the full result from stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire. And don’t forget to take a look at our picture gallery by team photographer Hugh McManus.