Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
Stage 1: Calella - Calella - Stage Details

ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Leigh Howard sprinted to second off a strong lead out from teammate Brett Lancaster on the opening stage of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) edged out Howard to the line in Calella to win stage one and pull on the race leader’s jersey. Nearly the entire star-studded field of 176 riders contested the sprint finish with only 13 riders splitting off from the main bunch.

The testing stage with a hilly finale began with a pair of escapees as Romain Lemarchand (Cofidis) and Boris Vallee (Lotto Belisol) jumped up the road. The duo built up a maximum advantage just over eight minutes before Giant-Shimano, Cannondale and Team Sky collaborated to chase.

Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural) broke away from the bunch on the first-category Alt de Montseny. The Spaniard bridged across to the leaders before the final ascent, but his time up the road was short-lived. The peloton overtook the breakaway inside the final 20 kilometres.

A number of attacks kept the peloton attentive on the category two climb that topped out 17 kilometres from the finish. The accelerations continued on the sweeping descent along the coast until the sprint trains picked up enough speed to lend a semblance of control to the finale.  

"We can never be completely content if we’re close but don’t win, but everyone did their duty diligently today. We rolled the dice in the sprint and came up with second place. We aspire to do one better in the next couple days." - Sport Director Neil Stephens

Results

Place Rider/Team Time
1 Luka Mezgec (Slo) - Team Giant-Shimano 4:09:13
2 Leigh Howard (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
3 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team ST
4 Paul Martens (Ger) - Belkin Pro Cycling Team ST
5 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) - Lotto Belisol ST
6 Daniele Ratto (Ita) - Cannondale ST
7 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) - BMC Racing Team ST
8 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) - Lampre-Merida ST
9 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) - AG2R La Mondiale ST
10 Kévin Reza (Fra) - Team Europcar ST
Place Mitchelton-SCOTT Riders Time
2 Leigh Howard (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
19 Christian Meier (Can) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
31 Brett Lancaster (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
53 Adam Yates (GBr) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
65 Simon Clarke (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
69 Damien Howson (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
87 Esteban Chaves (Col) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
164 Sam Bewley (NZl) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:02:58