Cycling

Dutch speedster Groenewegen wins Tour of Valencia opener

Dylan Groenewegen (Getty Images)
Dylan Groenewegen (Getty Images)

Vila-real - Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma won a mass bunch sprint to take the first stage of the Tour of Valencia on Wednesday.

Dutchman Groenewegen is a previous winner of four individual Tour de France stages and is often compared to British great Mark Cavendish for the kind of late burst that clinched the opening stage.

Groenewegen just about edged his compatriot, the Dutch national champion Fabio Jakobsen of Deceuninck-Quick Step, at the line after a 180km ride from Castellon to Vila-Real, while Norway's Alexander Kristoff of the UAE Emirates team was third.

"I started well, that's good. I've got two more chances to win a stage before the end of the Tour, let's see how it goes," Groenewegen said after crossing the line.

This was the first of three potential sprint stages on the five-day Tour, for which 39-year-old Spaniard Alejandro Valverde is touted as favourite, with two punchy finishes and no time-trial on the tour.

Thursday's second stage is a 181km run from Torrent to Cullera with two hills on the agenda.

Tour of Valencia first-stage results:

1. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/JUM) 4h 7min 40sec, 2. Fabio Jakobsen (NED/DEC) same time, 3. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/UAE) s.t., 4. Ben Swift (GBR/INE) s.t., 5. Juan Jose Lobato (ESP/FOR) s.t.

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