After a long break and a large number Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) won the first stage of the Cycling Tour in Catalonia (WorldTour), 163.7 km in Calella on Monday, with five program outputs, two third-category outputs and three first-class passes.
In an authoritarian way and in its characteristic style, Thomas De Gendt won the fourth Tour of Catalonia, the first of his season and his 14th career.
He crossed the finish line with 2:38 in front of the German Maximilian Schachmann (Bora Hansgrohe). Slovenian Grega Bole (Barhain Merida) took care of the peloton sprint at 2:42 to take 3rd place on the day.
Thomas De Gendt from the beginning was part of the secession of the day with the Spaniards Alvaro Cuadros (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) a Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis), French Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) and the Dutchman Huub Duijn (Roompot-Charles). The gap increased to 4m30, which is the time From Gendt Collect points in the pass through the first ribs that won the mountain ranking in Paris-Nice.
Twelve-year-old Belgian rushed to the rise of the penultimate difficulty of the day (Col de Fornic, 1st category) 60 km from the goal with 3:28 before the start. The Marines with Persecutors will return in four minutes and it will still be 3:27 at the top of the Port de Collsacreu (3rd Cat), the last climb of the day. Enough to win in Calella. From Gendt Of course there is the first overall leader jersey.
The second stage on Tuesday will lead the Mataró peloton to Sant Feliu de Guixols for 166.7 km. The 99th edition of the Tour of Catalonia ends on Sunday in Barcelona after seven stages of almost every mountain or at least steep.
Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won last year. This year, most of the cadres met in Catalonia, starting with the British Chris Froome,
Sky's 33-year-old rider did not rush to the Tour de France's prestige race, which was limited to a single Tour of Colombia in mid-February this season. Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana, Romain Bardet, Simon and Adam Yates, Thibaut Pinot or Miguel Angel Lopez it also appears at the beginning, just like a young Colombian nugget Egan Bernal, the impressive winner of Paris-Nice a week earlier at the age of 22.