Tour of the Alps 2018, Bilbao takes the opener stage

Pello Bilbao (Astana) wins Tour of the Alps 2018 stage 1. The Basque crossed the finish line solo at the end of the opener stage, that ran from Arco to Folgaria along 134 kilometers of racing. Bilbao surprised everyone by attacking – or rather, taking advantage of the indecisiveness that sat at the front of the group – with 4 kilometers to go on the brief descent leading from the top of Serrada KOM to the finish in Folgaria. The chasing group, composed of all the GC riders, didn’t succeed in jumping across the gap opened by Bilbao and crossed the finish line 10 seconds after Astana rider. Within the last five hundred meters Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and joungster Ivan Sosa (Androni – Sidermec) attempted to bridge the gap but only achieved podium positions.

The first attacks were moved on the climb to Serrada: when Groupama – FDJ was all together leading the peloton, Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani – CSF) attacked with 13 kilometers to go, opening shortly after a 20 seconds gap. Thibaut Pinot tried to go clear a little further – his teammate Reichenbach gained a tiny advantage over the group just before Pinot moved – but team Sky, which moved up to the head of the chase, called off the Frenchman’s try. Fabio Aru attempted to go clear with over 7 kilometers remaining but his attack was very weak. As soon as Aru got chased and Kenny Ellissonde shifted, Chris Froome broke the tie and only Thibaut Pinot, Domenico Pozzovivo and George Bennett followed the four times Tour de France winner. Ciccone was chased and a group of fifteen formed when group passed through the KOM sprint and approached together the descent to Folgaria, where Bilbao made the difference and gained the advantage that allowed the Basque to win.

Tour of the Alps 2018 Stage 1 Results

1 BILBAO Pello, Astana Pro Team   3:26:41
2 SANCHEZ Luis Leon, Astana Pro Team   + 0:06
3 SOSA Ivan Ramiro, Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia   ,,
4 PINOT Thibaut, Groupama – FDJ   + 0:10
5 FROOME Christopher, Team Sky   ,,
6 POZZOVIVO Domenico, Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team   ,,
7 BENNETT George,  Lotto Nl – Jumbo   ,,
8 CICCONE Giulio, Bardiani – CSF    ,,
9 HERMANS Ben, Israel Cycling Academy   ,,
10 ARU Fabio, UAE-Team Emirates   + 0:14

Tour of the Alps 2018 General Classification

1 BILBAO Pello, Astana Pro Team   3:26:41
2 SANCHEZ Luis Leon, Astana Pro Team   + 0:10
3 SOSA Ivan Ramiro, Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia   + 0:12
4 PINOT Thibaut, Groupama – FDJ   + 0:20
5 FROOME Christopher, Team Sky   ,,
6 POZZOVIVO Domenico, Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team   ,,
7 BENNETT George,  Lotto Nl – Jumbo   ,,
8 CICCONE Giulio, Bardiani – CSF    ,,
9 HERMANS Ben, Israel Cycling Academy   ,,
10 ARU Fabio, UAE-Team Emirates   + 0:24

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