Volta a Catalunya: Vakoč sprints to 8th on day one
Quick-Step Floors leads the team classification at the 97th edition of the Spanish event.
This year's Volta a Catalunya kicked off under a blue and sunny sky with a stage for the sprinters. That is, on paper, because the bunch still had to take on six classified ascents and a total of 3500 meters of climbing: Alt de Parpers, Alt dels Pinars de Bado, Alt de la Pullosa, Alt El Muntanya, Coll Formic and Alt de Collsacreu.
After the original four-men escape was pulled back with 22 kilometers to go, two riders – Cyril Gautier (AG2R) and Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) – tried their luck inside the last five kilometers with a solo move, but they were both reabsorbed by the peloton, who fought for victory on the short drag to the finish line in Calella, a town which was hosting a stage for the six years in a row.
Petr Vakoč was Quick-Step Floors' top finisher on the stage won by Davide Cimolai (FDJ) in front of Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis). The 2015 Czech Champion rolled home in 8th for his second World Tour top 10 of the season, following the 6th place he nabbed two months ago, at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Apart from the 24-year-old's solid result, Quick-Step Floors came out of this stage also with the first position in the team classification, which means our squad will be the second-to-last to start the 41.3km-long team time trial scheduled Tuesday afternoon, around Banyoles.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele