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 FACTORY RACING

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.

RELATED NEWS:

Steegmans crashes in first race with Trek »

Arredondo: I thought about quitting »

De Buyst looks back at successful omnium campaign »

Gallopin aims to win first French race »

Greipel, Wellens, Vanendert lead Lotto Soudal in Mallorca »

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

Mechanicals for Bennett in first sprint of the year 29.01.2015 @ 22:48MTN-Qhubeka confirm broken collarbone for Stauff 29.01.2015 @ 22:34Cult on the podium in first race of the season 29.01.2015 @ 22:31Steegmans crashes in first race with Trek 29.01.2015 @ 22:28Crash derails plans for CCC in Mallorca 29.01.2015 @ 18:50MTN-Qhubeka lead-out man breaks collarbone in Mallorca 29.01.2015 @ 18:31Great start for Rojas in Mallorca 29.01.2015 @ 18:25Viviani: This could become the best lead-out 29.01.2015 @ 18:17'All for one'-mentality pays off for Pelucchi 29.01.2015 @ 18:10Lampre-Merida Chinese ready for debut in Dubai 29.01.2015 @ 17:13Porte leads Sky in Algarve 29.01.2015 @ 17:07Gianni Savio: My expectations are big for this season 29.01.2015 @ 16:45Pelucchi wins European opener 29.01.2015 @ 16:34Fabio Aru: No problem to ride with Nibali 29.01.2015 @ 16:22Lance Armstrong criticized the UCI President 29.01.2015 @ 16:00Sky with Wiggins in Qatar, Thomas and Viviani in Dubai 29.01.2015 @ 15:46More cobbles in 2015 Paris-Roubaix 29.01.2015 @ 14:13Wiggins trains in Mallorca but skips the racing 29.01.2015 @ 13:30Quintana to ride Colombian Championships 29.01.2015 @ 13:22Strict rules for Belgian cross riders 29.01.2015 @ 13:11Thurau hopes for Tour de France debut 29.01.2015 @ 12:57Giro del Trentino to start with team time trial 29.01.2015 @ 12:50CULT Energy joins MPCC 29.01.2015 @ 12:47Nibali and Cavendish headline formidable Dubai line-up 29.01.2015 @ 12:39Pinot: I am not afraid of the fantastic four 29.01.2015 @ 11:37Colombia close to Vuelta wildcard 29.01.2015 @ 11:28Rojas: I will try to win one of the Mallorca races 29.01.2015 @ 11:10BMC announce roster for Evans' final race 29.01.2015 @ 11:05Cavendish to ride with 35,000 riders in South Africa 29.01.2015 @ 11:03Bennett ready for heavy first part of the season 29.01.2015 @ 11:00MTN-Qhubeka happy with succcessful training camp 29.01.2015 @ 10:56Italian national team pleased with San Luis results 29.01.2015 @ 10:00FDJ: We can win the Tour in four or five years 29.01.2015 @ 09:30Bretagne-Seche Environnement ambitious for 2015 29.01.2015 @ 09:00Arredondo: I thought about quitting 29.01.2015 @ 08:30Vichot targets the Ardennes 29.01.2015 @ 08:00Nippo - Vini Fantini pleased with season debut 29.01.2015 @ 07:30Belgian Cofidis rider stopped by heart problems 29.01.2015 @ 07:00Caja Rural ready for season debut in Spain and France 29.01.2015 @ 06:30Nys: I want to be on the podium 29.01.2015 @ 06:00Challenge Mallorca preview 28.01.2015 @ 20:05Kiserlovski, Valgren, Zaugg lead Tinkoff-Saxo in Dubai 28.01.2015 @ 18:46Aussies urge UCI not to move the Tour Down Under 28.01.2015 @ 17:49Craddock goes home to USA after bad crash Down Under 28.01.2015 @ 15:37Roche keen to help Froome and co-lead Vuelta 28.01.2015 @ 15:20Froome: The Tour is my only goal 28.01.2015 @ 15:00Nibali headlines formidable line-up for Tour of Oman 28.01.2015 @ 14:57Volta a Catalunya to introduce young riders' jersey 28.01.2015 @ 14:48van Garderen confident he can improve on Tour result 28.01.2015 @ 14:34Sabatini finally part of Cavendish's train 28.01.2015 @ 14:21Stybar previews cyclo-cross Worlds 28.01.2015 @ 13:11De Buyst looks back at successful omnium campaign 28.01.2015 @ 13:06Gallopin aims to win first French race 28.01.2015 @ 13:02Madiot outlines goals for his leaders Demare, Pinot and... 28.01.2015 @ 12:03Van Avermaet: Gilbert and I can share the leadership 28.01.2015 @ 11:41

Paul DELAHUNTY
42 years | today
Tony MÜLLER
25 years | today
Jeffry VAN DEN BULCK
25 years | today
Todd YEZEFSKI
33 years | today
Joaquim DURANT
24 years | today
ALL BIRTHDAYS

© CyclingQuotes.com 2013