Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) opened his Vuelta a Andalucia title defence with an emphatic victory on the difficult hilltop finish of Alcala de los Gazules.
Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) rode home to second place after animating the race inside the final kilometer, while his teammate Ion Izagirre rounded out the podium in third.
Wellens launched his final attack on the savage cobbled section in the final 300m of the climb and rapidly pulled out an insurmountable lead.
“Of course I knew the final from last year and I was in a good position at its foot, but the team did very well, too, in the last kilometres” Wellens said after claiming the 25th win of his career.
“I started following wheels at the foot of the climb, but then went for it with 200 metres to go and nobody could come after me.”
Wellens takes the leader’s jersey heading into stage two, 216.5km from Sevilla to Torredonjimeno.
— World Cycling Stats (@wcsbike) February 20, 2019
Vuelta a Andalucia 2019 – stage 1 results (Sanlúcar de Barramed – Alcalá de los Gazules):
|1||Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)||4:24:12|
|2||Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)||+05”|
|3||Ion Izagirre (Astana)||,,|
|4||Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott)||,,|
|5||Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma)||,,|
|6||Pello Bilbao (Astana)||,,|
|7||Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane)||,,|
|8||Aleksandr Vlasov (Gazprom–Rusvelo)||,,|
|9||Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma)||,,|
|10||Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)||+13”|