Spaniard Mikel Landa wins stage one of Vuelta a Burgos on testing final climb to take early race lead

Mikel Landa (Team Sky) won the opening stage of the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain on Tuesday in a testing uphill finale.

Evidently carrying through the form that saw him place fourth in the Tour de France, Landa animated the final 10km of the 151km stage, sealing his performance with the win ahead of Sergey Chernetskiy (Astana).

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) did his best to catch the two leaders on the climb, but simply ran out of road and had to settle for third.

Landa went into the race as the favourite for overall victory, and has already staked his claim on the leader’s jersey.

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The rolling stage around Burgos started with a sizeable 14-rider escape group. Fairly early on, it was evident of Team Sky’s intentions as they had riders at the front of the peloton to keep the race under control.

With the remnants of the break scooped up with 22km to go, teams started to ready themselves for the technical finale, full of narrow roads, tight corners, climbs and sections of cobbles.

On the first pass of the run-in to the finish, Landa accelerated on the climb inside the final 10km. He was followed by Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) and Chernetskiy, with the trio later joined by Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport).

The quartet opened up a gap of around 10 seconds as Movistar took up the work at the front of the pack to chase them down.

However, the roads simply didn’t lend themselves to an effective chase by a big peloton and by the foot of the final climb, the leaders still had a significant gap.

Trentin led into the hill, then Landa took over on the cobbled surface half-way up. At this point, the peloton were getting very close, but then Landa opened up with an acceleration with 400 metres to go.

Chernetskiy followed, then passed him but no-one was going to spoil Landa’s day. The Spaniard rode clear of the Astana rider to take a convincing win.

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Alaphilippe looked disappointed with his third place, and actually appeared to be the quickest on the climb, just starting his effort too far back to contest the victory as his team-mate Trentin faded.

With no time bonuses awarded during the race, the general classification matches the stage results, with Landa leading Chernetskiy by two seconds.

The five-stage UCI 2.HC-ranked race continues on Wednesday with stage two, a lumpy trip from Oña to Belorado over a distance of 153km. The race concludes on Saturday, August 5.

Last year’s edition was won by Alberto Contador, riding for the Tinkoff team. The Spaniard is not riding this year as his Trek-Segafredo team are absent.



Result

Vuelta a Burgos 2017, stage one: Burgos to Burgos, 151km
1. Mikel Landa (Esp) Team Sky, in 3-25-58
2. Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus) Astana, at 2 secs
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors, at 3 secs
4. Enric Mas (Esp) Quick-Step Floors, at 5 secs
5. Daniel Moreno (Esp) Movistar, at 7 secs
6. Carlos Barbero (Esp) Movistar
7. Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon
8. Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
9. Garikoitz Bravo (Esp) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
10. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM, all same time

General classification after stage one
1. Mikel Landa (Esp) Team Sky
2. Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus) Astana, at 2 secs
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors, at 3 secs
4. Enric Mas (Esp) Quick-Step Floors, at 5 secs
5. Daniel Moreno (Esp) Movistar, at 7 secs
6. Carlos Barbero (Esp) Movistar
7. Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon
8. Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
9. Garikoitz Bravo (Esp) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
10. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM, all same time