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Strong ride in Andalucia opener

15 Feb 2017

Strong ride in Andalucia opener

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Team Sky enlivened an exciting first stage at the Ruta del Sol, with Wout Poels and Diego Rosa taking top-five finishes.

The duo formed part of an impressive climbing attack on the opening day and sprinted for the line as part of a select six-man group into Granada.
 
Poels was edged into second place by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), with Rosa picking up fourth as Sebastien Reichenbach (FDJ) rounded out the podium places.
 
Team Sky demonstrated their strength in depth on the day's main climb of the Alto de Monachil. As Rosa pushed the pace and covered off attacks inside the final 25km, Mikel Landa launched clear twice to pile on the pressure towards the summit.
 
After a chase on the subsequent descent, Landa regrouped to finish eighth (five seconds back), while Mikel Nieve backed that up with 12th (+31 seconds).
 
The 155.4km test saw Trek-Segafredo setting the pace for much of the day on behalf of Alberto Contador. With the break caught the race came back together inside 40km to go on the fast approach to the final climb.
 
Team Sky had kept their powder dry up to that point, with David Lopez, Vasil Kiryienka and Christian Knees all combining to keep their team leaders safe before a thrilling finale.
Close finish in Granada (Photo: TDWSport)

Close finish in Granada (Photo: TDWSport)

Ruta del Sol stage one results and overall:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 4:02:28
2. Wout Poels (Team Sky) s.t.
3. Sebastien Reichenbach (FDJ)
4. Diego Rosa (Team Sky)
5. Jon Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)
Elsewhere the Volta ao Algarve kicked off with a bunch kick into Lagos. With a quality sprint field on display it was Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) who prevailed at the line - holding off Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis). 
 
Lukasz Wisniowski was the first Team Sky rider home, taking a respectable ninth place. Team Sky were able to conserve energy where possible ahead of more selective stages to come.

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