Adriatica Ionica Race (st. 1)
Catalan allrounder Movistar Team into 22-man leading group through gravel road sections towards Grado; Deceuninck makes it one-two-three as Colombian Álvaro Hodeg takes over GC lead.
It was a taste of legendary times in cycling on Thursday at the the 2019 Adriatica Ionica Race, the eastern Italian race holding a brutal stage one -189km from Venezia to Grado- following yesterday’s criterium preface in Mestre, with six gravel road sections (23 kilometers in total) that split the peloton udner really warm conditions.
The Movistar Team, down to six riders today with a DNS from Daniele Bennati -unable to start due to a relapse in his symptoms from the injuries sustained months ago-, resisted at the front of the race with Edu Prades, part of the 22-rider leading group together through the penultimate sterrato sector – a split missed by Winner Anacona (due to a crash) where Deceuninck – Quick Step took a one (Hodeg), two (Sénéchal), three (Gilbert) at the finish. The main peloton, including Winner as well as Arcas and Sepúlveda, finished nearly a minute and a half behind the leaders.
The Italian event will sharply change its scenario on Friday, with a long 204km stage two route featuring four ascents -two of them rated Cat-1- towards the Lago di Misurina / Tre Cime di Lavaredo, at nearly 1,800 meters above sea level.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto