Volta a Catalunya: Andreas Kron wins stage 1

Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal) won stage 1 of the Volta a Catalunya after he proved the quickest of a four-man break at the finish in Calella. The neo-professional delivered a well-judged sprint to beat Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Premier Tech) to the line and claim the first leader’s jersey of the race.

The decisive move forged clear with 23km remaining, when Sanchez took advantage of a lack of cohesion in the reduced peloton to jump clear, and he was promptly joined by Kron, Rémy Rochas (Cofidis) and Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe). The quartet combined well to take advantage of the lack of organisation behind to build a maximum lead that touched 45 seconds.

Although Ineos shaved that advantage back towards the half-minute mark in the closing kilometres, the sustained chase effort came too late to deny the escapees. Kämna, mindful of his limitations in the sprint, attempted to jump away with 2km remaining, but he was unable to shed himself of his companions and he found himself compelled to lead them out.

Sanchez was tucked on Kämna’s wheel in the finishing straight, where he repeatedly glanced over his shoulder to check on the location of the chasers. The Spaniard, normally such a canny operator in such situations, perhaps should have been keeping a closer eye on Kron.

The Dane unleashed a crisp effort with 150m to go to claim the stage, while Sanchez had to settle for second. Rochas took third place ahead of Kämna, while Dion Smith (BikeExchange) and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) led the peloton home at 16 seconds.

All of the GC contenders finished safely in that group, though four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation) came in 8:40 down after being dropped on the day’s category 1 climb, the Port de Santa Fe del Montseny.

Kron is in his first season at WorldTour level, and the 22-year-old had already caught the eye with his aggression GP La Marseillaise and Étoile de Bessèges. He showed considerable nous here to spot the opportunities that began to arise once Movistar stopped riding on the front in the finale.

Movistar had whittled the peloton down to 80 or so riders on the category 1 Port de Santa Fe del Montseny, and they had continued to lead over the other side, ostensibly to tee up Alejandro Valverde for stage victory. They ceased working after the road flattened out, however, and no team stepped up to take their place.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos) and Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck-QuickStep) were part of a sizeable group that briefly opened a gap on the undulating terrain in the last 30km, but the key move came just after they were brought back. Sanchez and Kämna were the established names in the break, but it was the neophyte Kron who carried the day.

“It’s fantastic. It’s my first WorldTour stage race and my first WorldTour stage win,” said Kron. “It’s crazy, it’s fantastic, I cannot say anything, it’s just fantastic. We rode fantastic as a team today. We had Sylvain [Moniquet] in the break and it’s also the mountains jersey for him and then I came in the break and won the sprint. it’s incredible, fantastic.”

Kron holds a lead of 4 seconds over Sanchez and 6 over Rochas in the overall standings, with the GC contenders at 26 seconds ahead of Tuesday’s 18.5km individual time trial in Banyoles.

How it unfolded

The opening phase of the stage was animated by Gotzon Martín (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Rein Taaramae (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Natnael Berhane (Cofidis) and Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), who escaped in the opening kilometres and built a maximum lead of 4:20 over the peloton.

Their advantage began to drop shortly after the road started to climb, however, and their advantage was down to 2:45 by the time Taaramae led the quartet over the summit of the Port de Les Guilleries.

Bora-Hansgrohe, who have Peter Sagan in action in Catalonia this week, were to the fore ahead of the day’s main obstacle, Port de Santa Fe del Montseny, before Movistar took over on the climb itself. The Spanish squad’s forcing shed the peloton of some of the fast men, Sagan included, while Froome was visibly in difficulty at the back of the race for much of the ascent and was eventually distanced shortly beyond the summit.

By that point, Moniquet was the only rider left in front, with the Belgian summoning up just enough strength to fend off the peloton and claim the king of the mountains points at the top. Movistar led the reduced front group down the other side before relenting their effort in the finale.

It made for a disjointed peloton, with the front end of the race fragmenting and reforming on several occasions inside the final 30km. Thomas, Masnada and Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) were part of a group that opened a small gap with 26km to go, while Marc Soler (Movistar) and George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) were prominent in the pursuit, but the move never established a foothold.

Sanchez sensed his opportunity with 23km to go, jumping clear with Kron, Kämna and Rochas for company. Stevie Williams (Bahrain Victorious) later made a spirited attempt to forge across, but the Welshman fell just short of catching them. Behind, nobody was immediately willing to commit to the chase, and the leading quartet had a lead of 40 seconds by the time they crested the top of the Port de Collsacreu with 13km to go.

On the run-in, Trek-Segafredo and, particularly, Ineos were prominent in ensuring the escapees’ advantage was at least kept to a minimum, but with 5km to go, it was already clear that the winner would come from the leading quartet, who took full advantage of the tailwind in the finale. After Kämna’s move was snuffed out with 2km to go, Sanchez looked the favourite, but Kron showed strength and poise to take the honours.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 4:20:15
2Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
3Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
4Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
5Dion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange 0:00:16
6Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
7Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
8Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
9Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
10Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
11Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal
12Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel Start-up Nation
13Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
14Francisco Galvan Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
15Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
16Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team DSM
17Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
18Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
19Harold Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
20Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
21Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
22Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
23Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
24Mattias Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
25Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM
26Callum Scotson (Aus) Team BikeExchange
27João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
28Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
29Rob Power (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos
30Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
31Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis
32Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
33Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
34Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
35Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange
36Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
37Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
38Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
39Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
40Joan Bou Company (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
41Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
42Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
43Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
44Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM
45Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team
46Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
47Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
48James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
49Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech
50Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal
51Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
52Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
53Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
54Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
55Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
56Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
57Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange
58Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
59Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Gazprom-RusVelo
60Jaime Castrillo Zapater (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
61Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
62Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM
63Roger Adria Oliveras (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
64Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange
65Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious
66Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
67David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
68Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
69Daniel Alejandro Mendez Noreña (Col) Equipo Kern Pharma
70Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
71Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
72Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education-Nippo
73Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma
74Tanel Kangert (Est) Team BikeExchange
75George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma
76Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
77Chad Haga (USA) Team DSM
78Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
79Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
80Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
81Stephen Williams (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:34
82Brent Bookwalter (USA) Team BikeExchange 0:01:04
83Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:16
84Urko Berrade Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma 0:02:51
85Rob Britton (Can) Rally Cycling 0:05:35
86Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
87Matis Louvel (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:08:30
88Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
89Jeremy Bellicaud (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
90Ben Zwiehoff (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
91Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana-Premier Tech
92Joey Rosskopf (USA) Rally Cycling
93Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Team Arkea-Samsic
94Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
95Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates
96Chris Froome (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation
97Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
98Thomas Champion (Fra) Cofidis
99François Bidard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
100Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling
101Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team
102Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally Cycling
103Sean Bennett (USA) Team Qhubeka Assos
104Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
105Marti Marquez Roman (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
106Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
107Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain Victorious
108Andres Camilo Ardila Ordoñez (Col) UAE Team Emirates
109Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
110Tejay van Garderen (USA) EF Education-Nippo
111Bob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroën Team
112Nathan Brown (USA) Rally Cycling
113Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
114Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
115Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
116Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
117Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo 0:11:08
118Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis
119Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team
120Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation
121Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
122Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
123Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
124Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
125Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
126Alexander Cataford (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
127Savva Novikov (Rus) Equipo Kern Pharma
128Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Qhubeka Assos
129Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal 0:13:04
130Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
131Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
132Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
133Denis Nekrasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
134Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
135Thymen Arensman (Ned) Team DSM
136Sander Armée (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:14:34
137Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Cofidis
138Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
139Nickolas Zukowsky (Can) Rally Cycling
140Jordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe
141Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
142Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ
143Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R Citroën Team
144William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
145Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
146Ben King (USA) Rally Cycling
147Sergei Chernetskii (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
148Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
149Diego Camargo Pineda (Col) EF Education-Nippo
150Jaakko Hänninen (Fin) AG2R Citroën Team
151Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
152Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
153Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
154Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
155Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
156Jonas Wilsly (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
157Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
158Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
159Alan Riou (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:19:42
160Frederik Wandahl (Den) Bora-Hansgrohe
161Connor Brown (NZl) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:20:18
162Alexander Evans (Aus) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:21:02
163Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
164Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:23:17
165Karel Vacek (Cze) Team Qhubeka Assos
996Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
996Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
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Sprint 1 - Tossa de Mar, km. 25
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis 3
2Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal 2
3Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 1
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Sprint 2 -Vidreres, km. 50
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis 3
2Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal 2
3Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 1
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Time bonus sprint, km. 100
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis 3
2Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal 2
3Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1
Points 87. km. 178
1Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 10
2Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 6
3Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis 4
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Mountain 1 - Port De Les Guilleries (Cat. 2), km. 103
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 5
2Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 3
3Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis 2
4Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal 1
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Mountain 2 - Port de Santa Fe del Montseny (Cat. 1), km. 124
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal 10
2Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team 8
3Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team 6
4Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange 4
5Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 2
6Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 1
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Mountain 3 - Port De Collsacreu (Cat. 3), km. 161
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 3
2Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis 2
3Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 1
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Combativity
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
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Teams
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Astana-Premier Tech 13:01:17
2Bora-Hansgrohe
3Lotto Soudal
4Cofidis
5Team Arkea-Samsic 0:00:16
6Trek-Segafredo
7Team BikeExchange
8Movistar Team
9EF Education-Nippo
10Israel Start-up Nation
11Team DSM
12Ineos Grenadiers
13Deceuninck-QuickStep
14Jumbo-Visma
15UAE Team Emirates
16Equipo Kern Pharma
17Euskaltel-Euskadi
18Bahrain Victorious 0:00:34
19Gazprom-RusVelo 0:13:04
20Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:16:44
21AG2R Citroën Team
22Groupama-FDJ
23Team Qhubeka Assos 0:19:22
24Rally Cycling 0:22:03
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General classification after stage 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 4:20:05
2Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:04
3Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:06
4Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:10
5Dion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange 0:00:26
6Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
7Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
8Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
9Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
10Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
11Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal
12Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel Start-up Nation
13Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
14Francisco Galvan Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
15Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
16Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team DSM
17Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
18Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
19Harold Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
20Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
21Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
22Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers