Dylan Groenewegen victorious in opening stage at Volta ao Algarve
Feb 14 2018 06:12 pm CET

Dylan Groenewegen victorious in opening stage at Volta ao Algarve
Dylan Groenewegen victorious in opening stage at Volta ao Algarve
Photo of Dylan Groenewegen by LottoNL-Jumbo

Dylan Groenewegen of LottoNL-Jumbo has won the opening stage of the Volta ao Algarve. The sprinter took the win ahead of Arnaud Demare.

The first of five stages led the riders from Albufeira to Lagos, at the southern Portuguese coast. The stage was 192.6 kilometers long and although it included some climbs, a mass sprint always seemed likely.

It was clear that the home riders wanted to make an impression at Nuno Almeida, Luis Afonso, David Livramento and Joao Rodrigues joined Spaniard Josu Zabala in a breakaway that gained an advantage of about two and a half minutes.

Luis Afonso of Vito-Feirense-BlackJack and Zabala of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA attacked from the front group at just under 30 kilometers from the finish.

The two saw their lead reduced to just 15 seconds at 20 kilometers from the finish and were caught some kilometers later. More attacks were attempted in the next kilometers but the bunch sprint was inevitable.

Although the teams tried their best, there were no clear trains left in the final kilometers. Arnaud Demare of FDJ did still have a teammate ahead of him when the sprint began, but it was Groenewegen to cross the finish line ahead of the Frenchman. Hugo Hofstetter of Cofidis finished third.

As a result, the Dutch rider also takes the lead in the overall classification.

Groenewegen will likely lose his lead on Thursday, as the riders face a first-category climb to the finish after a 187.9km stage from sagres to Foia.






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