© Mario Stiehl

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2018, Van Poppel wins the opening stage

Danny Van Poppel (Lotto Nl – Jumbo) sprints to victory in the first stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2018. The dutch sprinter settles efficiently the efforts of his teammates and beats the slovenian Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton – Scott) and Jurgen Roelandts (BMC). The Lotto Nl – Jumbo rider is evidently the first leader of the spanish stage race.

With an easily foreseeable plot outline, today stage’s Oruela del Mar – Peniscola (191 kms) verdict has been unsurprising. The only asperity of the day, the half-way hill of La Bandereta, has been overtaken without troubles by both the leaders and the peloton. Four men establish a comforting lead after a few kilometres from the start. Those are evergreen Francisco Mancebo (Inteja Dominican Cycling), Paul Orselin (Direct Energie), Ibai Salas (Bh – Burgos) and José Manuel Diaz (Israel Cycling Aademy). The maximum gap of the breakaway is reached at kilometre 71, when the four leaders are 5’15” ahead the bunch.

Murias – Euskadi, Ef – Drapac, Movistar and Lotto Nl – Jumbo take in this order the lead of the peloton, reducing significantly the advantage of the breakaway, which end is spelled at 17 kms to go. The sprinters’ team begin a long run-in for the gallop until Gianni Moscon‘s attack at 3 kms to go. The italian’s effort is called off in the last 1000 meters and the sprinters’ ambitions rejoin the game. At the end Van Poppel prevails and takes the first victory with his new team in the first day of race in this season.

STAGE CLASSIFICATION

1 Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo                      4:34:13
2 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
3 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing Team
4 Daniel McLay (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac
5 Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
8 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
10 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1 Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 4:34:03
2 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:04
3 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:06
4 Daniel McLay (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:10
5 Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
8 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
10 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie

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