Andreas Kron clinched the opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya after beating Luis Leon Sanchez in a four-man sprint finish as Chris Froome struggled for Israel Start-Up Nation on Monday.
For Kron (Lotto Soudal) it was a first WorldTour victory in his first stage race, and he now leads the general classification ahead of Sanchez (Astana), Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Remy Rochas (Cofidis) after day one.
"It’s crazy. I cannot say anything, we rode fantastic as a team," he said.
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"It was a tough day. The mountain jersey for [team-mate Sylvain] Moniquet, and I won the sprint. It’s special.”
Froome visibly toiled on the opening day, dropping from the peloton with less than 50km to go and ultimately finishing eight minutes and 40 seconds behind Kron.
Before the start of the seven-day race, Froome had said he was not personally challenging for victory but out to help team-mates Michael Woods and Dan Martin challenge for the general classification.

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Out in front, Kron, Sanchez, Kamna and Rochas were part of a four-man breakaway which held a 35-second advantage over the peloton as the 178km Calella stage entered its final 20km.
Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal) had led earlier in the day and picked up the most mountain points overall, but as the race reached the final 10km it appeared the stage winner would come from the leading quartet.
The peloton sought to close the gap with Ineos Greandiers leading the charge, but it was too little too late for the chasing pack as the cat-and-mouse game began between the front four.
Kamna was out in front ahead of Sanchez with a few hundred metres to go, and after it was Rochas who put the burners on, Kron stayed on his wheel before coming from the outside to pip Sanchez to the line.
Behind them, Dion Smith (Team BikeExchange) led the peloton to take fifth. Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates (both Ineos) and Simon Yates (BikeExchange) are all among the pack 26 seconds behind Kron in the GC.

General Classification after Stage 1

  • 1. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 4:20:05
  • 2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech +0:00:04
  • 3. Remy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis +0:00:06
  • 4. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe +0:00:10
  • 5. Dion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange +0:00:26
  • 6. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victoriou
  • 7. Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
  • 8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Tea
  • 9. Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
  • 10. Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
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