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Wiggins withdraws as Groenewegen leads

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Sir Bradley Wiggins pictured before stage one

Sir Bradley Wiggins dropped out of the Tour de Yorkshire during the first stage as Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s Dylan Groenewegen took the overall lead.

The four-time Olympic champion – riding as part of his build-up to the 2016 Olympics – pulled out around 26km from the finish in cold, damp conditions.

“I’m gutted not to join you into the weekend but Rio needs to take priority,” said Wiggins.

Groenewegen, 22, outpaced Australia’s Caleb Ewan in a bunch finish to win.

The Dutchman, who earned a 10-second time bonus, completed the 186km stage between Beverley and Settle in five hours, nine minutes and 11 seconds.

Wiggins – the 2012 Tour de France winner, who turned 36 on Thursday – was riding for his Team Wiggins outfit.

He added: “Great atmosphere in Yorkshire today. It was a tough day’s racing so thanks to everyone who braved the weather and came out to support. The boys and I really appreciate it.

“Good luck to everyone over the weekend.”

JLT-Condor’s Chris Lawless was the top British rider in seventh, while One Pro Cycling’s Pete Williams will wear the pink King of the Mountains jersey on Saturday.

Team Wiggins' Andrew Tennant

Team Katusha’s Sven Erik Bystrom was left with minor facial injuries after a multi-bike crash outside Beverley that the Russian team claim was caused by a cattle grid.