Volta ao Algarve: Stage 1 sees Gerben Thijssen take sprint victory

Stage 1 of the Volta ao Algarve saw a bunch sprint finish decide the outcome. Gerben Thijssen was the fastest out of the bunch, taking an impressive win on the opening day of the race.

The first breakaway of the race was one that did not lead to much tension in the peloton. Alpecin-Deceuninck's Tobias Bayer was joined by six riders from the local Portuguese teams: César Fonte, Fábio Costa, Tomas Contte, Gonçalo Amado, Diogo Narciso and Noah Campos.

Despite the flat profile, only five riders remained with 100 kilometers to go. Bayer moved with 51 to go and went solo off the front with a two-minute lead, but this didn't hold much when the peloton accelerated.

The Austrian was caught with 21 kilometers to go, just after a crash that involved riders such as Tiesj Benoot and Valentin Madouas, whilst the likes of Wout van Aert and Sepp Kuss were caught out. However soon after the pace in the peloton calmed down and most were able to return.

Arkéa - B&B Hotels led the peloton through the technical run-in. Tudor also hit the front in the final kilometer as the peloton saw several splits. It was a chaotic sprint, but Gerben Thijssen popped through the final sprint and had by far the strongest sprint in the final meters. The Belgian sprinter beat Marijn van den Berg and Jordi Meeus to become the first race leader.

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

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