Tour of the Alps: Solid Schlegel in the mountainous opener

Michal Schlegel showcased his climbing abilities on stage 1 of Tour of the Alps, taking 24th place in Folgaria.

Info: April 16th, Arco – Folgaria, 134,6km

Course: mountainous (cat. 2 climb late in the race)

The breakaway of the day was formed after a lively and uphill start and it included 9 riders. CCC Sprandi Polkowice didn’t have their representation in the that escape though. Due to short distance and strong composition of the leading group, the gap never exceeded 3 minutes, as Team Sky and Groupama FDJ were controlling the pace.

On the key mountain of the stage, cat.2 Serrada (19,2km, 5,5%) the break split and eventually got caught with 12km to go by a shattered bunch. at that point Amaro Antunes and Michal Schlegel were both in that 35-man group, but when race favorites fired their attacks, they couldn’t follow.

Just after the top of the climb, from which it was 6km to the line, Pello Bilbao (Astana) went away. He held on to win the stage and take the overall lead. Winner’s teammate, Luis Leon Sanchez finished 2nd and Ivan Sosa (Androni – Sidermec – Bottecchia) was third.

Michal Schlegel was CCC Sprandi Polkowice’s top finisher, coming in in 24th place (1:07 behind). Amaro Antunes also made top 30, taking 28th (1:13).