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by Shane Stokes
February 15, 2018
Haas seizes race lead after victory on stage 2 of Tour of Oman; Groenewegen wins stage 1 of the Volta ao Algarve; Boudat denies Modolo on stage 1 of the Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol; Gilbert and Valverde comment on Froome’s return; Majka rejects accusations of doping; Silca debuts bigger seat roll and latex tubes; Cane Creek’s eeBrake in El Diablo limited edition colour way; Video: Froome – ‘these are not normal circumstances’; Video: Cycling Motivation – Peter Sagan shows MTB skills
Direct Energie rider Thomas Boudat scooped victory at the line on stage one of the Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol on Wednesday, lunging to foil Italian Sacha Modolo. The EF Education First-Drapac rider had thrown his arms in the air rather than pushing his bike forward and that premature celebration proved costly. He had to accept second in Granada, while another Frenchman, Clement Venturini (AG2R La Mondiale), was third.
The race had mixed pre-race publicity due to the participation of Chris Froome. The Briton’s decision to ride despite an adverse analytical finding looming over him was criticised by some, but he and his Team Sky squad were unapologetic about his participation. Both claim his innocence, and say he will be cleared.
Early on five riders broke away, establishing a lead of five minutes. Present were Boudat’s Direct Energie teammate Romain Sicard, as well as Silvan Dillier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Caja Rural-Seguros), Garikoitz Bravo (Euskadi Basque Country) and Txomin Juaristi (Fundacion Euskadi).
However with Astana and then Team Sky pushing hard behind to bring them back, their chances were slim. Dillier pushed on alone but was recaptured with 14 kilometres left. This prompted Pablo Torres (Burgos – BH) and Jon Ander Insausti (Fundacion Euskadi) to seize their chance, but they were unable to hold off the bunch.
Modolo’s EF Education First-Drapac team worked hard to put him in the winning position, but his jubilation at the end proved too soon. Boudat now leads overall heading into Thursday’s second stage.