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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
A stage winner at last week’s Dubai Tour, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) was frustrated to be given a time penalty due to drafting and to lose any chance of overall victory. He bounced back on day one of the Volta ao Algarve on Wednesday, galloping to victory in Lagos.
The Dutch sprinter beat Arnaud Demare (FDJ), Hugo Hofstetter (Cofidis), Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and the rest of the main bunch, thus clocking up his second victory of the season. “The shape feels really good,” he said. “The leadout was already strong in Dubai and today they did a great job again. The timing was right and I finished it off in a long sprint.”
The 192.6 kilometre stage started in Albufeira and while it included two small climbs, a bunch sprint was predicted. Five riders decided to try to buck the trend, with Joao Rodriguez (W52-FC Porto), David Livramento (Sporting Travira), Josu Zabala (Caja Rural), Nuno Almeida (L.A. Aluminios) and Luis Afonso (Vito-Feirense) opening a lead of just over three and a half minutes.
The BMC Racing Team worked hard to reude the gap to 20 seconds with 30 kilometres to go; Afonso and Zabala resisted and pushed ahead together, but they were caught with 13 kilometres to go. Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) pushed ahead and when he was brought back, others tried to go. However things were together for a bunch sprint, which Groenewegen then won.
“Dylan had a good winter, worked hard and is still young. That’s how we like it,” said directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman. He said the team all worked hard to set things up. “In the end, it was Timo Roosen who launched Groenewegen. He finished it off strongly.”