O'Connor baffled on Ruta del Sol opener as early break stays away

IZNAJAR SPAIN FEBRUARY 16 Ben Alexander Oconnor of Australia and Ag2R Citroen Team reacts after cross the finishing line during the 68th Vuelta A Andalucia Ruta Del Sol 2022 Stage 1 a 2007km at stage from Ubrique to Iznjar 514m 68RdS on February 16 2022 in Iznjar Spain Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images
Ben O'Connor finishes the Ruta del Sol opening stage (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Ben O'Connor's opening day of racing in the 2022 season at the Vuelta a Andaulcia Ruta del Sol left the Australian pleased with how his AG2R-Critroèn team worked collectively, but puzzled at how the peloton managed to slip up by letting a day-long break of non-favourites stay away.

After gaining nearly 15 minutes at one point, the early breakaway of eight riders made it to the line with 37 seconds to spare. Having defied the odds and fended off the big-name teams, the stage culminated in an unlikely but richly deserved win for outsider Rune Herregodts (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.