Eneco Tour (st. 1)
Spaniard takes 7th at inaugural sprint of Eneco Tour in Middelburg, following a day with rain, strong winds and a furious finale where Movistar Team -Ventoso sitting in 5th overall- saved any crashes or incidents
Two really different parts divided the opening stage of the 8th Eneco Tour, the UCI World Tour starting on Dutch soil on Monday with a 203k flat stage from Waalwijk to Middelburg. The first one, covered under a slow pace -33 kph in the initial two hours- due to strong front wind and persistent rain, attended a duo breakaway by Staf Scheirlinckx (ACC) and Pablo Urtasun (EUS); the second one, once the attempt was caught down with 75k from the finish, had good protagonism from the Movistar Team riders, who fought for position into the coveted inaugural sprint with their two fast men, Fran Ventoso and José Joaquín Rojas.
Ventoso successfully contested the third intermediate sprint of the day and claimed three bonus seconds that allowed him taking the provisional 5th place in the overall classification, while Rojas, much helped by the Spanish champion and all Blue riders into a technical, eventful final circuit -also including a crash with 2k from the end, with no Movistar Team riders affected-, claimed the 7th spot behind first race leader Marcel Kittel (ARG). The telephone squad is set for an important collective effort on Tuesday as a 18.9km team time trial around Sittard makes stage two in the Benelux.