Late attack by Peter Kennaugh foiled as sprinters contest the stage finish on the opening day of the 2017 Volta a Catalunya in Spain

TAGS:

Italian Davide Cimolai (FDJ) out-paced Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) in the fast finish at the end of the opening stage of the 2017 Volta a Catalunya in Spain on Monday.

The climb-filled stage starting and finishing in Calella ended in a bunch sprint after a late attack by Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) was reeled in.

Manxman Kennaugh had attacked on a downhill section with two kilometres to go, but was caught with 800 metres to race as the sprinters wound up the pace.

Davide Cimolai takes the early race lead in the 2017 Volta a Catalunya. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Bouhanni and Cimolai crossed the line almost simultaneously, but a photo finish showed that Cimolai edged ahead. The pair were several bike lengths clear of third-placed Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data).

>>> Five things to look out for at the 2017 Volta a Catalunya

German powerhouse André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) found himself boxed in during the finale, and came home in fifth.

All of the main general classification contenders, including Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) finished safely in the peloton. The seven-day WorldTour race ends on Sunday, March 26.

Volta a Catalunya 2017 stage one profile

Earlier in the stage, Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Murile Affonso and Magno Nazaret (both Soul Brasil) had formed the day’s break.

The quartet navigated their way through the day’s six categorised climbs, later being joined by Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac), Jetse Bol (Manzana Postobon) and Axel Domont (Ag2r). With only a slim advantage, all remnants of the escape were caught with around 25km to go.

Affonso took the lead in the mountains classification for his efforts.

The 2017 Volta a Catalunya continues on Tuesday with stage two, a hilly 41.3-kilometre team time trial that could potentially see general classification riders gain or lose a lot of time to their rivals.

>>> Volta a Catalunya 2017: Latest news, info and results

Result

Volta a Catalunya 2017, stage one: Calella to Calella, 178.9km
1. Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
3. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
4. Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
6. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Esp) Movistar
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott
8. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
9. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb
10. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, all same time

General classification after stage one
1. Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, at 4 secs
3. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data, at 6 secs
4. Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at 10 secs
5. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
6. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Esp) Movistar
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott
8. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
9. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb
10. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, all at same time