CyclingQuotes.com uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.
ACCEPT COOKIES » MORE INFO »

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

The first stage of the Tour de Luxembourg comes down to the expected bunch sprint where Greipel emerges as the fastest; Van Poppel finishes third and defends his lead 

Photo: A.S.O.

ANDRÉ GREIPEL

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

DANNY VAN POPPEL

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

LOTTO SOUDAL

TEAM PROFILE
|
NEWS

MICHAEL MØRKØV

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

TOUR DE LUXEMBOURG

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS

TREK - SEGAFREDO

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS
05.06.2014 @ 17:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard
André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) continued his successful return to competition after his broken collarbone when he won today's first road stage of the Tour de Luxembourg in a bunch sprint. Having controlled the race  to reel in the early escapees, Greipel was delivered by his team and held off Michael Mørkøv (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Danny Van Poppel (Trek) who did enough to defend his leader's jersey.
 
André Greipel saw his classics campaign be cut short when he crashed out of Gent-Wevelgem with a broken collarbone. He made his return in the Tour of Turkey where he worked for his team and when he restarted his European season in the World Ports Classic, he hadn't won a single race for almost three months.
 
Since then, Greipel has been unstoppable. After winning the opening stage of the two-day comeback race, he went on to claim a victory in last week's Tour of Belgium. Today he continued his impressive build-up to the Tour de France when he won the first stage of the Tour de Luxembourg in Hesperange, two years after he last took a victory in the Luxembourgish city.
 
After the opening prologue, all was set for a stage for the sprinters and the Trek team of race leader Danny Van Poppel dutifully controlled the day's early three-rider break. As they hit the 18.2km finishing circuit that would be covered twice, Lotto Belisol took control and made sure that the escapees were back in the fold inside the final 5km.
 
Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo) made a late attack but there was no one denying the sprinters today. The flawless Lotto Belisol train delivered their German sprinter to the line and he held off Michael Mørkøv and Danny Van Poppel in the sprint.
 
Van Poppel's third place was enough for the young Dutchman to extend his overall lead over Jean-Pierre Drucker (Wanty) to 8 seconds. The latter must have left the stage disappointed after finishing fourth as a reversal of the 3rd and 4th places would have seen him draw equal with Van Poppel in the overall standings of his home race.
 
Van Poppel will now try to defend his lead in tomorrow's second stage which brings the riders from Rosport to Schifflange. The first part is rolling and has four categorized climbs and the stage ends with one lap of a 36.3km finishing circuit. It is mostly flat but the finishing straight is slightly uphill, making things a bit more difficult than they were in today's traditional sprint stage.
 
One for the sprinters
After the short evening prologue, the Tour de Luxembourg continued with its first road stage which is likely to be the easiest of the entire race. It brought the riders over 172.6km from the city of Luxembourg to Hesperange and after a rolling first part with three categorized climbs, things got flatter near the end. The stage ended with two laps of a mostly flat 18.2km finishing which meant that the stage was expected to end in a bunch sprint.
 
After the rainy prologue, the riders were pleased to take off under much better weather, with forecasts even prediciting very hot conditions for the weekend stages. All riders that had finished the prologue, took the start but Tomas Gil (Neri Sottoli) abandoned after 40km of racing.
 
A three-rider break
Despite the easy profile, there was a bit of attacking in the first part and it took a little time for the early break to be established. After 16km of racing, however, Juan Pablo Valencia (Colombia), Boris Dron (Wallonie) and Giuseppe Fonzi (Neri Sottoli) had opened a 1.20 gap.
 
The peloton took it easy for a little while, allowing the gap to reach a maximum of 5.20 by the time Dron beat Valencia and Fonzi at the top of the first climb. In the peloton, Trek had taken control and Fabio Silvestre and Calvin Watson did a solid work to bring the gap down to a manageable 4 minutes where it was kept stable for most of the day.
 
A battle for points
On the second climb, Valencia moved into the virtual lead in the mountains classification when he beat Fonzi and Dron into the minor positions and the Colombian was again first at the top of the final ascent. At that point, the gap had gone back up to 4.50.
 
At the first intermediate sprint point, Fonzi beat Dron and Valencia and now Trek had tightened the screws a bit, reducing the gap to 3.40. That was still the difference by the time the riders entered the finishing circuit but now Lotto Belisol took control of the situation.
 
Lotto in control
At the first passage of the line, the Belgian team had brought the gap down to 2.20 and at the end of the first lap, the escapees were only 1.19 ahead. However, they had saved a bit of energy from the finale and as they upped the pace, they still had 29km in hand with 8km to go.
 
With 5km to go, they were just 13 seconds ahead and moments later, they were brought back. Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo) made an immediate counterattack and the Dane did well to build up a 10-second gap with 3km to go.
 
However, Trek had no intentions of relinquishing the leader's jersey and so they brought the Danish classics specialist back. From there all was set for a big bunch sprint where Greipel emerged as the fastest.

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

Bretagne Classic preview 27.08.2016 @ 00:08Reactions from the final stage of the Tour du Poitou-Ch... 26.08.2016 @ 22:47Reactions from stage 7 of the Vuelta a Espana 26.08.2016 @ 22:00Vuelta a Espana stage 8 preview 26.08.2016 @ 19:15Colbrelli and Chavanel share the spoils in Poitou-Chare... 26.08.2016 @ 18:32Van Genechten completes the triple for IAM at the Vuelta 26.08.2016 @ 18:23Trek sign Matthias Brändle 26.08.2016 @ 16:37Bardiani sign former Lampre rider 26.08.2016 @ 16:10De La Cruz extends with Etixx-QuickStep 26.08.2016 @ 15:59Sagan returns to road racing in Plouay 26.08.2016 @ 15:54Boonen leads Etixx-QuickStep in Plouay 26.08.2016 @ 15:50LottoNL-Jumbo sign Stef Clement 26.08.2016 @ 15:46Lotto captain considers withdrawal after bad Vuelta crash 26.08.2016 @ 15:40Lampre-Merida to become first Chinese WorldTour team 26.08.2016 @ 14:26Wiggins: The future of my team is to develop U23 riders 26.08.2016 @ 04:29Strong Canadian national team for WorldTour classics 25.08.2016 @ 23:29Vuillermoz leads Ag2r in Plouay 25.08.2016 @ 23:24Reactions from the third day at the Tour du Poitou-Char... 25.08.2016 @ 23:08Reactions from stage 6 of the Vuelta a Espana 25.08.2016 @ 22:42Formidale Lotto Soudal team for Bretagne Classic 25.08.2016 @ 19:47Vuelta a Espana stage 7 preview 25.08.2016 @ 19:37Holst Enger and Haussler spearhead IAM in Bretagne Classic 25.08.2016 @ 18:58Chavanel does it again in Poitou-Charentes TT 25.08.2016 @ 18:47Costa and Ulissi lead Lampre-Merida in Plouay 25.08.2016 @ 18:27Wily Yates claims first grand tour stage win on hilly d... 25.08.2016 @ 18:17Van Avermaet returns to racing in Bretagne Classic 25.08.2016 @ 18:11Rebellin and Paterski lead CCC in Plouay 25.08.2016 @ 18:02Matthews leads Orica-BikeExchange in Plouay 25.08.2016 @ 17:48Comeback kid Bouhanni does it again in Poitou-Charentes 25.08.2016 @ 16:59Giant-Alpecin signs two talents 25.08.2016 @ 15:45Wallays targets breakaway success in the Vuelta 25.08.2016 @ 15:27Tinkoff lose key rider in the Vuelta 25.08.2016 @ 15:23Sky signs Lukasz Wisniowski 25.08.2016 @ 15:00Bahrain-Merida signs Siutsou and Bozic 25.08.2016 @ 14:15Katusha signs Jose Goncalves 25.08.2016 @ 13:30Reactions from Druivenkoers Overijse 24.08.2016 @ 23:12Reactions from stage 2 of Tour du Poitou-Charentes 24.08.2016 @ 22:45Reactions from stage 5 of the Vuelta a Espana 24.08.2016 @ 22:11Vuelta a Espana stage 6 preview 24.08.2016 @ 19:29Baugnies makes it two in a row on great day for Wanty 24.08.2016 @ 18:49Van Asbroeck opens his account in Poitou-Charentes 24.08.2016 @ 18:37Meersman doubles his tally in crash-marred Vuelta sprint 24.08.2016 @ 18:26Lotto Soudal: Today we'll work for van der Sande 24.08.2016 @ 15:40Katusha sign Europe Tour leader Planckaert 24.08.2016 @ 15:35Reactions from GP Stad Zottegem 23.08.2016 @ 23:58Reactions from stage 1 of Tour du Poitou-Charentes 23.08.2016 @ 23:17Reactions from stage 4 of the Vuelta a Espana 23.08.2016 @ 22:39Druivenkoers Overijse preview 23.08.2016 @ 21:06Vuelta a Espana stage 5 preview 23.08.2016 @ 19:11Cyclo-cross rider Merlier wins Belgian semi-classic 23.08.2016 @ 18:50Bouhanni gets his revenge in Poitou-Charentes opener 23.08.2016 @ 18:44Cool Calmejane takes neo-pro win in Vuelta mountains 23.08.2016 @ 18:07Degenkolb leads Giant-Alpecin in Plouay 23.08.2016 @ 15:52LottoNL-Jumbo sign Belgian climbing talent 23.08.2016 @ 15:47Katusha sign Tour of Luxembourg winner 23.08.2016 @ 15:45

Johan SCHEEPERS
31 years | today
Eivind EKELI
27 years | today
Med Reda BENOUA
24 years | today
Ruben JIMENEZ VENTOSA
29 years | today
Matteo COLLODEL
28 years | today

© CyclingQuotes.com 2013