Wout Van Aert wins Tirreno-Adriatico opening sprint stage
Belgian rider Wout Van Aert won a sprint finish for the first stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race on Wednesday at Lido di Camaiore
The Jumbo-Visma rider pipped Australian Caleb Ewan of Lotto Soudal and Colombian Fernando Gaviria of UAE Emirates on the line after the 156km in Tuscany.
The 26-year-old wears the race leader's blue jersey going into the 202km second stage between Camaiore and Chiusdino in the seven-stage 'Race of the Two Seas' which acts as a warm up for the Giro d'Italia.
"I started my sprint at the right moment and managed to keep my speed until the finish," said Van Aert.
"I didn't really expect to win today in such a fast sprint against Caleb Ewan.
"I was thinking of taking some time bonuses. I'm really happy and proud to finish off the work of the team."
It was a double for the Jumbo-Visma team with Primoz Roglic winning stage four of Paris-Nice to take the overall lead of the 'Run to the Sun' in France.
"We're super happy with the two wins," said Slovenian Roglic.
Peter Sagan had this to say after his first race of beig infected with Coronavirus “First stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico and, as expected, it came down to a fast bunch sprint. For me, it was also the first race of the 2021 season, so it was important to get back to race rhythm after a long break. The team, once again, did a very good job and I was kept safe in the long, final straight line to the finish. The last kilometre was quite hectic and, unfortunately, I wasn't in an ideal position to contest the sprint."
VIDEO: 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 Highlights
2021 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 Top 10
1 Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 3:36:17
2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3 Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
4 Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroen
5 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange
6 Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
7 Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck-QuickStep
8 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
9 Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation