Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen adds to stage win at the Dubai Tour with early race lead in the 2018 Volta ao Algarve

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) enjoyed a perfect start to the 2018 Volta ao Algarve in Portugal with the stage win and early race lead.

The Dutchman added to his win in the opening stage of the Dubai Tour last week with the bunch sprint victory, opening up his effort early and fending off a late surge by French rival Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ).

Démare settled for second, with fellow Frenchman Hugo Hofstetter (Cofidis) in third.

Groenewegen leads Démare overall in the general classification going into stage two.

How it happened
The day’s escape group formed up early, with five riders forging ahead of the bunch after just two kilometres: Nuno Almeida (LA Alumínios), David Livramento (Sporting-Tavira), Luís Afonso (Vito-Feirense-BlackJack), João Rodrigues (W52-FC Porto) and Josu Zabala (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).

For the first two hours of racing, their gap held steady at around two and a half minutes, but past the mid-way point of the race their advantage started to be chipped away over the lumpy terrain.

Algarve native Rodrigues crested the day’s fourth and third category climbs of Aldeia dos Matos and Eira da Cevada ahead of his escape companions to earn the lead in the mountain classification, while Zabala took the day’s two intermediate sprints.

>>> Volta ao Algarve 2018: Latest news, reports and race info

With 70km to go – and with the terrain flattening out – the break’s lead wavered between a minute and a half, and just less than a minute for the next 50km.

With 15km to go, the race was all back together and there was a frantic flurry of activity as riders attacked and were chased down. There were several minor crashes in the peloton as riders jostled for position.

Tom Devriendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Jose Goncalves (Katusha-Alpecin) were the most successful of the attackers, but were both caught with 2km to go to set up a bunch sprint.

Groenewegen looked as though he didn’t want to give his rivals a chance of getting ahead of him, and opened up his sprint early – Démare did his best to try and chase him down, and the two finished with a clear gap ahead of the rest of the bunch.

The 2018 Volta ao Algarve steps up a notch on Thursday with stage two from Sagres to Fóia, covering 187.9km and ending with a long 15km climb to the finish line that should see the general classification shaken up.



Result

Volta ao Algarve 2018, stage one: Albufeira to Lagos, 192.6km
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis
4. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing
6. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
7. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
8. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
10. Luis Mendonça (Por) Aviludo-Louletano, all same time

General classification after stage one
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis
4. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing
6. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
7. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
8. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
10. Luis Mendonça (Por) Aviludo-Louletano

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here