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United States | Southeast | Virginia >> Nick Schultz beats Tadej Pogacar in opening sprint at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

Nick Schultz beats Tadej Pogacar in opening sprint at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

Nick Schultz surprised the favourites to take biggest career victory at Stage 1 of the 2024 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

Nick Schultz beats Tadej Pogacar in opening sprint at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

Nick Schultz could not have said it any better: “this is huge for me,” enthused the Australian after his audacious attack helped him claim victory on stage 1 of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in Sant Feliu de Guíxols on Monday.

Schultz broke clear approaching the flamme rouge, helped brilliantly by teammate Stevie Williams who slowed the pace behind, and managed to stay clear on the uphill drag to the finish line to claim the biggest victory of his career to date.

Behind, Tour Down Under winner Williams superbly marked the GC favorites, in particular Tadej Pogacar, whose UAE Team Emirates squad went all-in for the Slovenian today, before sprinting to take third place.

“I think I was on the finishing line asking ‘what happened?’,” Schultz adds. “This was a huge surprise for me. I think it was pretty clear what my objective was today – my job was to take Stevie down the last descent and through the final corners. I never once thought about winning the stage today, I was only thinking about the team. He was on my wheel just before the final corner and he yelled at me to keep going. He let the gap go. In that moment, I was going to go as hard as I could to provoke somebody to come after me, but I got a pretty gap and knew I had to keep going as hard as possible.

“Ultimately, I never thought it would come to fruition, but I’m really thankful to Stevie for letting that gap go because he could have won that stage in his own right. Maybe that was the beauty of not being the big leader: I had nothing to lose. In my head, I wasn’t racing for the win, I was racing to help Stevie. I think that ultimately meant I could leave it all out there – if I came fifth or 30th today, it wouldn’t have changed anything.”.

HIGHLIGHTS: 2024 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya Stage 1

2024 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya Stage Results

1 SCHULTZ Nick Israel-Premier Tech 4H 11' 38"
2 POGACAR Tadej UAE Team Emirates "
3 WILLIAMS Stephen Israel-Premier Tech "
4 GODON Dorian Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team "
5 LAURANCE Axel Alpecin-Deceuninck "
6 ROCHAS Rémy Groupama-FDJ "
7 VAN WILDER Ilan Soudal Quick-Step "
8 VLASOV Aleksandr BORA-hansgrohe "
9 KUSS Sepp Team Visma | Lease a Bike "
10 TEJADA Harold Astana Qazaqstan Team "