Vuelta a Burgos (st. 1)
Spanish road race champion takes 6th -best local rider- at bunch sprint in Melgar de Fernamental; Danny Van Poppel (SKY) takes purple leader's jersey
The first stage of the 38th Vuelta a Burgos -158km between Sasamón and Melgar de Fernamental- started off with some crosswinds putting pressure on the bunch. Strong winds caused some early splits into a peloton where the Movistar Team always kept the front with a tireless, consistent Rory Sutherland, leading the way in company of EQS and SKY. The bunch let grow a seven-man escape, with no Blues, as the only climb of La Cucolina (Cat-3) left room to long plains where the riders -basking under the sun and temperatures exceeding 30ºC- started to bring back the escapees before the junction was made with 13km to go.
Igor Merino (BUR) took on a solo, late move before the WorldTour squads started preparing the sprint in Melgar de Fernamental, where Danny van Poppel (SKY) completed an eventful day, including an early crash, with the first purple leader's jersey. The first Spanish rider across the line, Movistar Team's José Joaquín Rojas, finished 6th and kept his team-mates well represented before Wednesday's crucial TTT: 10.7km in the province's capital, with the ascent of the Castillo halfway through the course. The Blues will roll down the start ramp at 3.51pm local.
Picture ©: Photo Gomez Sport / Luis Ángel Gómez