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Volta Ciclista a Catalunya Stage 1: Bunch Sprint

21. March 2016, Calella (ESP) — Road Team

Philippe Gilbert finished in 14th place in the bunch sprint on stage 1 of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. (c) Tim De Waele/TDWSport.com

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya kicked off today with the 178,5km opening stage ending in a bunch sprint won by Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).

It was set to be a sprinter’s stage from the start and the peloton allowed a three-rider breakaway go away early in the stage. They built a six-minute advantage before being caught on the decent of the third climb with 45km to go.

Despite multiple attacks in the final eight kilometers, no rider could fend off the peloton, leaving Bouhanni to take the win, followed by Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Daryl Impey (Orica GreenEDGE).

Philippe Gilbert was up there in the sprint and crossed the line in 14th place.

BMC Racing Team Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said the stage went to plan for the team.

“The team did a great job of protecting our leaders, Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen. We finished at the front of the race and really it was the perfect stage to get things going and let the legs work a bit before we get into the harder climbing stages.”

Porte echoed Ledanois’ stage analysis.

“Today was all about staying out of trouble and staying up the front. It wasn’t an easy stage but it’s always nice to get the first stage out of the way and concentrate now on the harder stages to come,” Porte said.

Stage 2 will see the peloton ride 178,7km from Mataró to Olot including two categorized climbs and a slight incline on the finish.

BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery

See photos from the race.

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