Soler, Valverde away from trouble in Castellón opener

5 February 2020
Imagen de la noticia ‛Soler, Valverde away from trouble in Castellón opener’

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (st. 1)

Movistar Team cover themselves well as they finish inside the main peloton in Vila-real, with Groenewegen (TJV) victorious at the bunch sprint. First GC key stage on Thursday up Cullera.

Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen (TJV) claimed the day’s honours at the opening stage of the 2020 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, a flat 180km course from Castellón to Vila-real with several technical sections near the end and an inevitable bunch sprint at the final straight.

Fabio Jakobsen (DQT) and Alexander Kristoff (UAD) completed the podium of a stage which the Movistar Team covered with no setbacks and good order. The work by Arcas, Rojas, Samitier, Villella and Cataldo all day helped Alejandro Valverde and Marc Soler, the Blues’ main GC threats for the week, to finish inside the main group.

Sergio Samitier drives the pace for the Blues during stage one. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

The squad conducted in Spain by Chente García Acosta and Patxi Vila -first race as the Blues’ DS for the Navarran- will tackle the first of two key GC stages on Thursday. A demanding start through the hills of the interior of Valencia and a final 2km at 9% average in the mountain over the coastal city of Cullera will set some early gaps preluding Saturday’s Queen stage atop Altea / Sierra Bernia.

Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport