Andreas Kron won the opening stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya on Monday, the young Dane surprising the field by claiming his first senior win ahead of a field which includes Chris Froome and Richard Carapaz. The 22-year-old was part of a small group of riders who broke away from the peloton with around 10 kilometers to go in the 178.5km stage at Calella and manage to pip his rivals in the final sprint across the line. Kron finished ahead of Bora Hansgrohe’s Lennard Kamna, Cofidis rider Remy Rochas and Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez to claim his breakthrough win as a professional on the first day of the race’s 100th edition.
The Lotto-Soudal rider is four seconds ahead of Sanchez and six in front of Rochas in the general classification.
His win comes after just half a season in the pro ranks, and his dazed reaction afterwards highlighted the surprise nature of the win.
“Winning a World Tour stage is very important in a career. I couldn’t tell you when I started the sprint … Winning here is a fantastic experience,” the breathless rider said at the Costa Brava coastline finish.
Headline riders Carapaz and Froome had a low key stage, with Ineos’ Carapaz 26 seconds behind Kron in the general classification and four-time Tour de France winner Froome finishing the day in 96th position, over eight minutes behind Kron.
Israel Start-Up Nation rider Froome said before the start of the stage that he would not be “personally fighting for the victory” in the seven-stage race.
Tuesday’s second stage is an 18.5km individual time trial around Banyoles, in the northern part of Catalonia.
The seven stage race winds up outside the Barcelona Olympic stadium on Sunday.
|1||KRON Andreas||Lotto Soudal||4:20:15|
|2||SÁNCHEZ Luis León||Astana – Premier Tech||0:00|
|3||ROCHAS Rémy||Cofidis, Solutions Crédits||0:00|
|4||KÄMNA Lennard||BORA – hansgrohe||0:00|
|5||SMITH Dion||Team BikeExchange||0:16|
|6||MOHORIČ Matej||Bahrain – Victorious||0:16|
|7||SCHELLING Ide||BORA – hansgrohe||0:16|
|8||VALVERDE Alejandro||Movistar Team||0:16|
|9||KAMP Alexander||Trek – Segafredo||0:16|
|10||VALGREN Michael||EF Education – Nippo||0:16|
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini