Eneco Tour (st. 1)
Briton from Movistar Team offensive in chaotic opening stage, jumps into 6th overall; ‘Essex lion’ with chances in Breda TT on Wednesday
Huge stress turned stage one of the Eneco Tour, 183km in and around Terneuzen in Zeeland (NL), into a very chaotic one, with lots of crashes, splits due to crosswinds and attacks which the Movistar Team riders tried to be in.
Alex Dowsett prominently featured in the moves behind the day’s original break -De Vreese (WGG), Vanbilsen (TSV) and Smukulis (KAT)-. The Essex-based rider kept the front together with team-mates Jasha Sütterlin and Iván Gutiérrez, who led him out into the late, final intermediate sprint to earn two bonus seconds that set him in 6th place overall. It should be an important reference for the Briton, considering the early position in the race programme of Wednesday’s 10km individual time trial in Breda, a great chance for him.
The inevitable sprint saw Italian Andrea Guardini (AST) surging from behind to take the win, while the Blues weren’t able to get in the mix: Jasha Sütterlin was the Spanish squad’s top finisher in 22nd place. Two other chances should be available for Chente García Acosta’s roster, starting with tomorrow’s stage two from Waalwijk to Vlijmen (176km) still on Dutch soil.