No troubles at opening sprint
20 March 2017

Volta a Catalunya (st. 1)

Rojas (6th), Valverde (14th) secure late starting schedule for Movistar Team at crucial TTT in Volta on Tuesday, set to open first significant gaps in the Catalan event

It was a tight sprint's victory for Italy's Davide Cimolai (FDJ), narrowly ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (COF) on stage one of the Volta a Catalunya, a 179km loop around Calella and over more than 3,500 meters of vertical gain, which did nevertheless present no troubles to the Movistar Team. Alwys attentive at the front of the pack, Alejandro Valverde got through the descents safely, and supported by his seven team-mates, took a decent 14th at the finish, second best Movistar performer behind a well-recovered José Joaquín Rojas, claiming his first WorldTour top-ten finish of the season in 6th place.

The two men from Murcia and Andrey Amador (25th) made for an excellent second place on the teams' standings for the Arrieta / Laguía-led squad, which will be the third-to-last squad -3.59pm local time; just ahead of Quickstep and FDJ- to depart on Tuesday's 41km TTT around Banyoles. A route that, as described by Valverde himself at the start today, will be "long, difficult and technical", one that could decide "everything" into a race still including several mountain routes after the first time gaps are set on stage two.