Dion Smith has finished 4th in stage 1 of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.  The Wanty-Groupe Gobert Kiwi beat Andre Greipel in the finishing sprint that was won by Davide Cimolai of FDJ, who took the win ahead of Nacer Bouhanni of Cofidis and Kristian Sbaragli of Dimension Data.

The opening stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (Tour of Catalunya) took the field 178.9km on a course that both started and finished in Calella.  Three Kiwis arrived at the start line for the 97th edition of the World Tour stage race, with Dion Smith of Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Sam Bewley of Orica-SCOTT and George Bennett of LottoNL-Jumbo all in the mix.  The tour is an interesting one for the non-climbers, with most of the seven stages favouring riders who can at least do a bit of everything; a Peter Sagan, Alaphilippe or a Michael Matthews might find themselves more suited to the less severe stages outside of the highest mountains.  But it was a bunch sprint that would decide the stage.

A group containing Brasil’s Magno Prado Nazaret and Murilo Affonso, Pierre Rolland and Brendan Canty of Cannondale-Drapac, Antonio Nibali of Bahrain-Merida, Axel Domont of AG2R La Mondiale and Jetse Bol of Manzana Postobon eventually formed at the front of the race but the climbs over the course of the day played quite the factor in limiting the break’s success as the move gradually whittled down; and the last of the break were caught with just under 25km of racing to go.

Lotto Soudal for Andre Greipel and Cofidis for Nacer Bouhanni had to be considered the teams to watch on the run in to the sprint, with both fast men impressively staying with the front of the race and in contention despite the six climbs that littered the stage; which included two category 1 climbs.

Team Sky and FDJ took the lead on the front of the race with 6km to go, with Team Sky more interested in looking after Chris Froome and keeping him out of trouble; rather than lining any of their riders up for a sprint.  Cyril Gautier of AG2R La Mondiale attempted a late breakaway to try and upset the sprinters.  It was never likely to succeed but he put in a bold effort to last all the way until 3km to go as Dimension Data charged to the front of the race that curved around the coast.

Once Gautier was caught Peter Kennaugh then tried to escape on the sweeping downhill that led the field through 2km to go.  He gained a reasonable gap too which put Dimension Data and the rest under pressure.  Cofidis were perched right on the shoulders of Dimension Data, with Bahrain-Merida, Lotto Soudal, FDJ and more all swarming at the front of the peloton; but Kennaugh was holding on impressively.

The Brit led through 1km to go but FDJ swept him up with some 800m to go.  Dion Smith though was a little way down, some 15 riders or so as Geoffrey Soupe led out the sprint for Cofidis.  Smith had to go from a long way out and launch himself down the right hand side of the road, coming around a couple of riders as Nacer Bouhanni and Davide Cimolai went shoulder to shoulder for the win.  Smith powered on though as Cimolai just pipped Bouhanni for the win, with Sbaragli third.

Stage results:

 

Rank Name Nat. Team   Result
Davide CIMOLAI ITA FDJ   4:28:21
Nacer BOUHANNI FRA COF   +0
Kristian SBARAGLI ITA DDD   +0
Dion SMITH NZL WGG   +0
André GREIPEL GER LTS   +0
Jose ROJAS ESP MOV   +0
Daryl IMPEY RSA ORS   +0
Petr VAKOC CZE QST   +0
Phil BAUHAUS GER SUN   +0
10  Enrico GASPAROTTO ITA TBM   +0
11  Nick VAN DER LIJKE NED RNL   +0
12  Martijn TUSVELD NED RNL   +0
13  Pieter SERRY BEL QST   +0
14  Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE ESP MOV   +0
15  Felix GROSSSCHARTNER AUT CCC   +0
16  Guillaume LEVARLET FRA WGG   +0
17  Jordi SIMON CASULLERAS ESP SOU   +0
18  Dario CATALDO ITA AST   +0
19  Geraint THOMAS GBR SKY   +0
20  Valerio CONTI ITA UAD   +0
21  Pierre Roger LATOUR FRA ALM   +0
22  Maximilian SCHACHMANN GER QST   +0
23  Cesare BENEDETTI ITA BOH   +0
24  Ilnur ZAKARIN RUS KAT   +0
25  Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA CRC MOV   +0
26  Jay MCCARTHY AUS BOH   +0
27  Daniel MARTIN IRL QST   +0
28  Yukiya ARASHIRO JPN TBM   +0
29  Damien HOWSON AUS ORS   +0
30  Robert GESINK NED TLJ   +0
31  Adam YATES GBR ORS   +0
32  Pawel POLJANSKI POL BOH   +0
33  Oscar RIESEBEEK NED RNL   +0
34  Caio GODOY ORMENESE BRA SOU   +0
35  Natnael BERHANE ERI DDD   +0
36  Jakob FUGLSANG DEN AST   +0
37  Ruben FERNANDEZ ANDUJAR ESP MOV   +0
38  Xandro MEURISSE BEL WGG   +0
39  Sindre SKJOESTAD LUNKE NOR SUN   +0
40  Jetse BOL NED MZN   +0
41  Janez BRAJKOVIC SLO TBM   +0
42  Maciej PATERSKI POL CCC   +0
43  JUAN SEBASTIAN MOLANO BENAVIDES COL MZN   +0
44  Diego ROSA ITA SKY   +0
45  Romain BARDET FRA ALM   +0
46  Brent BOOKWALTER USA BMC   +0
47  Ben HERMANS BEL BMC   +0
48  Geoffrey SOUPE FRA COF   +0
49  Julien SIMON FRA COF   +0
50  Michael GOGL AUT TFS   +0
51  Jan BÁRTA CZE BOH   +0
52  Rafal MAJKA POL BOH   +0
53  JHON DARWIN ATAPUMA HURTADO COL UAD   +0
54  Ricardo VILELA POR MZN   +0
55  George BENNETT NZL TLJ   +0
56  Bert-Jan LINDEMAN NED TLJ   +0
57  Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO ESP TFS   +0
58  Peter KENNAUGH GBR SKY   +0
59  Stef CLEMENT NED TLJ   +0
60  Rafael VALLS FERRI ESP LTS   +0
61  Tejay VAN GARDEREN USA BMC   +0
62  Jérémy MAISON FRA FDJ   +0
63  Etienne VAN EMPEL NED RNL   +0
64  Hernando BOHORQUEZ SANCHEZ COL MZN   +0
65  Bauke MOLLEMA NED TFS   +0
66  Laurens DE PLUS BEL QST   +0
67  Steven KRUIJSWIJK NED TLJ   +0
68  Nelson OLIVEIRA POR MOV   +0
69  JUAN FELIPE OSORIO ARBOLEDA COL MZN   +0
70  François BIDARD FRA ALM   +0
71  Alexis VUILLERMOZ FRA ALM   +0
72  Lukasz OWSIAN POL CCC   +0
73  Anass AIT EL ABDIA MAR UAD   +0
74  Matteo BONO ITA UAD   +0
75  Jacques Willem JANSE VAN RENSBURG RSA DDD   +0
76  David GAUDU FRA FDJ   +0
77  Ondrej CINK CZE TBM   +0
78  Fabien DOUBEY FRA WGG   +0
79  Davide VILLELLA ITA CDT   +0
80  Mekseb DEBESAY ERI DDD   +0
81  Davide FORMOLO ITA CDT   +0
82  Alexey VERMEULEN USA TLJ   +0
83  Tiago MACHADO POR KAT   +0
84  Thomas DEGAND BEL WGG   +0
85  Alex HOWES USA CDT   +0
86  Peter STETINA USA TFS   +0
87  Eduard PRADES REVERTER ESP CJR   +0
88  Laurens TEN DAM NED SUN   +0
89  Arthur VICHOT FRA FDJ   +0
90  Sam BEWLEY NZL ORS   +0
91  Guillaume MARTIN FRA WGG   +0
92  Stéphane ROSSETTO FRA COF   +0
93  Marco MINNAARD NED WGG   +0
94  Mikel NIEVE ITURRALDE ESP SKY   +0
95  Michael WOODS CAN CDT   +0
96  Leszek PLUCINSKI POL CCC   +0
97  Rohan DENIS AUS BMC   +0
98  Kristijan ÐURASEK CRO UAD   +0
99  Enric MAS NICOLAU ESP QST   +0
100  Jan HIRT CZE CCC   +0
101  Philip DEIGNAN IRL SKY   +0
102  Louis MEINTJES RSA UAD   +0
103  BENOIT VAUGRENARD FRA FDJ   +0
104  Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE ESP TFS   +0
105  Mikel LANDA MEANA ESP SKY   +0
106  Imanol ERVITI ESP MOV   +0
107  Louis VERVAEKE BEL LTS   +0
108  Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT ERI DDD   +0
109  Sergei CHERNETSKI RUS AST   +0
110  Rein TAARAMÄE EST KAT   +0
111  CYRIL GAUTIER FRA ALM   +0
112  Léo VINCENT FRA FDJ   +0
113  Jarlinson PANTANO GOMEZ COL TFS   +0
114  ALDEMAR REYES ORTEGA COL MZN   +0
115  Antonio PIEDRA PEREZ ESP MZN   +0
116  Przemyslaw NIEMIEC POL UAD   +0
117  Chris HAMILTON AUS SUN   +0
118  Vasil KIRYIENKA BLR SKY   +0
119  Hernan Ricardo AGUIRRE CAIPA COL MZN   +0
120  Chris FROOME GBR SKY   +0
121  Martijn BUDDING NED RNL   +0
122  Nicholas SCHULTZ AUS CJR   +0
123  Marc SOLER GIMENEZ ESP MOV   +0
124  José GONÇALVES POR KAT   +0
125  Jesper HANSEN DEN AST   +0
126  Tobias LUDVIGSSON SWE FDJ   +0
127  Sergio PARDILLA BELLON ESP CJR   +0
128  Ben GASTAUER LUX ALM   +0
129  Pavel KOCHETKOV RUS KAT   +0
130  Kilian FRANKINY SUI BMC   +0
131  Diego RUBIO HERNANDEZ ESP CJR   +0
132  José MENDES POR BOH   +0
133  Carlos VERONA ESP ORS   +0
134  Ben O’CONNOR AUS DDD   +0
135  Pello BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA ESP AST   +0
136  Ruben PLAZA ESP ORS   +0
137  Tsgabu Gebremaryam GRMAY ETH TBM   +0
138  Axel DOMONT FRA ALM   +0
139  Guillaume BONNAFOND FRA COF   +0
140  Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU ESP TFS   +0
141  Alessandro DE MARCHI ITA BMC   +0
142  Andrew TALANSKY USA CDT   +0
143  Jonathan CASTROVIEJO ESP MOV   +0
144  Robert KIŠERLOVSKI CRO KAT   +0
145  Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ ESP BMC   +0
146  Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA ESP COF   +0
147  Hugh CARTHY GBR CDT   +0
148  Johan LE BON FRA FDJ   +0
149  Sean DE BIE BEL LTS   +0
150  Domen NOVAK SLO TBM   +0
151  Antonio MOLINA CANET ESP CJR   +0
152  Luis Guillermo MAS BONET ESP CJR   +0
153  Ángel VICIOSO ARCOS ESP KAT   +0
154  Jelle VANENDERT BEL LTS   +0
155  Lachlan MORTON AUS DDD   +0
156  Gianluca BRAMBILLA ITA QST   +0
157  Paolo TIRALONGO ITA AST   +43
158  Jeroen MEIJERS NED RNL   +1:47
159  Artyom ZAKHAROV KAZ AST   +3:30
160  Piotr BROZYNA POL CCC   +3:30
161  Silvio HERKLOTZ GER BOH   +3:30
162  Rémi Cavagna FRA QST   +3:30
163  Joseph ROSSKOPF USA BMC   +3:30
164  Brendan CANTY AUS CDT   +3:30
165  Sander ARMEE BEL LTS   +3:30
166  Bart DE CLERCQ BEL LTS   +3:30
167  Magno Prado NAZARET BRA SOU   +3:30
168  Murilo AFFONSO BRA SOU   +3:30
169  Nathan HAAS AUS DDD   +3:30
170  Pierre ROLLAND FRA CDT   +3:30
171  Manuele MORI ITA UAD   +3:30
172  Svein TUFT CAN ORS   +3:30
173  Thomas DE GENDT BEL LTS   +6:06
174  Martijn KEIZER NED TLJ   +6:06
175  Alexander EDMONSON AUS ORS   +6:06
176  Maxim BELKOV RUS KAT   +6:06
177  Antonio NIBALI ITA TBM   +6:06
178  Pieter WEENING NED RNL   +6:57
179  Victor CAMPENAERTS BEL TLJ   +9:08
180  Lennard KÄMNA GER SUN   +10:49
181  Chad HAGA USA SUN   +10:53
182  Patryk STOSZ POL CCC   +10:53
183  Frederik VEUCHELEN BEL WGG   +10:53
184  Johannes FRÖHLINGER GER SUN   +10:53
185  Max WALSCHEID GER SUN   +10:53
186  Pascal ACKERMANN GER BOH   +10:53
187  Daniil FOMINYKH KAZ AST   +10:53
188  Alexandre GENIEZ FRA ALM   +10:53
189  Tim ARIESEN NED RNL   +10:53
190  Mateusz TACIAK POL CCC   +10:53
191  Matthias BRÄNDLE AUT TFS   +10:53
192  Jonas VAN GENECHTEN BEL COF   +10:53
193  Hector SAEZ BENITO ESP CJR   +17:03
194  Pedro Autran Dourado Dutra NICACIO BRA SOU   +17:56
195  Dylan PAGE SUI CJR   +17:56
196  Gabriel MACHADO DA SILVA BRA SOU   +17:56
197  Flavio CARDOSO SANTOS BRA SOU   +17:56
198  Raphael PIRES BRA SOU   +17:56
OTL Meiyin WANG CHN TBM   +37:31
 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here