Driedaagse De Panne - Koksijde (st. 1)
Lobato (ankle contusion after crash) and Gadret abandon for Movistar Team in Zottegem's opener, as Sütterlin punctures while in good form. Kristoff (KAT) becomes first leader
Things didn't go well for the Movistar Team on stage one of the 2015 Driedaagse De Panne – Koksijde, a 201 km ride from Koksijde to a double final loop in Zottegem, with five climbs from previous editions of the Ronde van Vlaanderen route. The telephone squad, which started the race with only six riders as Andrey Amador -to undergo surgery on Thursday after a small fracture in his elbow- and Imanol Erviti crashed in Harelbeke, with Gorka Izagirre suffering equal misfortune in Gent-Wevelgem, was soon reduced to four, as John Gadret and Juanjo Lobato dropped off early in the stage.
The Andalusian crashed after some branches got into his wheels, suffering from a contusion in his ankle that will be examined by the Blues' race doctor, Alfredo Züñiga, yet his injuries are supposed not serious. Jasha Sütterlin, who was part of the front group, together with Sanz, Ventoso and Dayer Quintana, suffered a costly puncture which he couldn't recover from, despite immediate help by Fran. The German and the Colombian were the top Blue performers, 5'16" behind Alexander Kristoff (KAT).