Tim Wellens victorious at first stage of Vuelta a Andalucia
Feb 20 2019 11:43 pm CET

Tim Wellens victorious at first stage of Vuelta a Andalucia
Tim Wellens victorious at first stage of Vuelta a Andalucia
Tim Wellens (c)Lotto Soudal

Lotto Soudal's Tim Wellens has taken the victory at the first stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta del Sol. The defending champion crossed the finish line ahead of Jakob Fuglsang and Ion Izagirre.

The peloton faced a 171-kilometre rolling route in the first stage of the Spanish race. The escape of the day was formed in the first 30 kilometres of the day and included riders like Jetse Bol (Burgos BH), Michael Van Staeyen (Roompot-Charles) and Alessandro Pessot (Bardiani CSF).

With around 50 kilometres to go, Bol jumped from the front group and rode by himself for some time and was caught back by the others ten kilometres later. At a bit more of 20 kilometres from the end, the escapees were caught by the pack and Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias) resisted for a moment but was eventually reeled back in as well.

Bahrain-Merida and Astana tried to set a high pace in the last kilometres to try to reduce the peloton ahead of the uphill finish. With five kilometres to go, Dries Van Gestel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Matteo Montaguti (Andronio Giocattoli-Sidermec) attacked and managed to create a small gap with the peloton, which was closed a couple of kilometres later.

Lotto Soudal led the peloton at the first metres of the final climb to position Tim Wellens. Riders like Luis Leon Sanchez, Ion Izaguirre, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) and Steven Kruijswijk (Lotto Soudal), were at the front of the reduced group in the last kilometre but Wellens changed the pace and crossed the finish line on his own.

Fuglsang, Izagirre, Haig and Kruijswijk completed the top five of the day. The Belgian rider also took the lead of the General Classification.



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