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Grossschartner 15th on the opening stage in Catalonia

Felix Grossschartner finished 15th in Calella, where two years ago Maciej Paterski claimed his first UCI World Tour win, on the opening stage of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

Info: March 20th, Calella – Calella, 178,9km

Weather: Sunny, warm

Course: hilly, 6 KOMs (Alt der Parpers – 38km, cat. 3; Alt dels Pinars de Bedo – 78km, cat. 2; Alt de la Pullosa – 92km, cat. 3; Alt el Muntanya – 111km, cat. 1; Coll Formic – 125km, cat, 1; Alt de Collsacreu – 160,5km, cat. 3)

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After very lively beginning of the stage and covering around 30 kilometers, Pierre Rolland (Cannodale-Drapac), Murillo Affonso, Malo Nazaret (Funvic/Brasil Pro Cycling) and Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) managed to go clear.

The peloton kept them “on their heels”, maintaining the gap at around 2 minutes. On Alt el Muntanya (Cat. 1), with 105km into the stage Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac), Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) and Jetse Bol (Manzana Postobon) bridged cross. Later, the latter duo decided to pull away from the break and approached final 40km of racing with around one minute in hand.

The chasing bunch was almost intact, considering how much climbing the riders did on the stage. The group brought the attackers back in with 25km to go and it was all decided in a mass sprint.

Felix Grosschartner was well positioned in the finale and was the first CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider at the line. He finished 15th, while Davide Cimolai (FDJ) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) battled for the win. Eventually it was the former who could celebrate and Kristian Sparagli (Dimension Data) rounded out the top 3.

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