Andreas Kron sprints to stage 1 victory from breakaway at Volta a Catalunya
Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal) outsprinted Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech) and Remy Rochas (Cofidis) from a late four man breakaway
In a region of Spain known for its beautiful terrain, it was fitting that the first day of the Volta a Catalunya took in some mountains. Three categorised climbs dominated the 178.4km parcours, with a first category climb ready to test the riders.
Starting and finishing in the coastal town of Calella, the riders wasted no time in trying to make their mark on this 100th edition of the race, with several attempts to break away failing before a quartet managed to distance themselves from the peloton. While they managed to build an advantage of 4:20, the average speed of 44km/h in the bunch made it hard to stay out, with Movistar’s tactics being to up the pace to reel them in, a move that caused the sprinters to fall off the back, before making the catch with 50km to go.
Here, the race’s attention turned to the finale, with for riders; Ide Schelling, Wilco Kelderman, Lennard Kämna and Ben Zwiehoff instrumental in keeping the pace fast and hard. A group of fifteen split off the front, before the smaller group of four went ahead, clearly with their sights set on the stage win.
With 20km to go, the for man breakaway group had 35 seconds over the peloton, making the most of the fast downhill stretches and by the time the stage reached its final 10km, the group was holding its lead and, rather than reducing it, the peloton seemed content to let this quartet go for the victory.
Making it to the finish, 4 four man breakaway went for the sprint with Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal) outsprinting Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech) second, Remy Rochas (Cofidis) third and Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal) fourth.
VIDEO: 2021 Volta a Catalunya Stage 1 Highlights
2021 Volta a Catalunya Stage 1 Top 10
1 Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 4:20:15
2 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tec
3 Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
4 Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Dion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange 0:00:16
6 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
7 Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
10 Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo