Dutchman Danny Van Poppel kicks off Team Sky's campaign at the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain with stage one win and overall race lead

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Dutch sprinter Danny Van Poppel took his second victory for Team Sky on Tuesday, winning the opening stage of the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain to take the early race lead.

Van Poppel out-powered Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC) to take the victory in Melgar de Fernamental after 158km of racing. Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep) placed third. Van Poppel took the victory despite crashing earlier in the stage.

British national champion Adam Blythe (Tinkoff) reported that he could not contest the sprint as his chain slipped inside the final kilometre, causing his foot to slip out of his pedal.

Earlier in his debut season with Team Sky, Van Poppel won a stage of the Tour de Yorkshire. He also made a notable finish to stage four of the Tour de Suisse, where he performed a high-speed rolling endo to avoid crashing in the sprint.

Van Poppel wears the overall race leader’s jersey going into the second stage, an unusual stage that comprises a short but hilly 10.72km team time trial. The 23-year-old will ride alongside Sky team-mates Ian Boswell, Peter Kennaugh, Sebastian Henao, Christian Knees, David Lopez, Salvatore Puccio and Xabier Zandio.

>>> Alberto Contador, Simon Yates and Alex Dowsett feature in Vuelta a Burgos

The five-day UCI 2.HC-ranked race is an important one for Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), who makes his first stage race appearance after dropping out of the Tour de France in July due to injury and illness. The Spaniard is aiming to ride into condition for the Vuelta a España at the end of the month haviong been forced to also miss the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

British rider Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) is one of Contador’s biggest rivals for the overall victory – which will be settled on the race’s final day, a ‘queen’ stage with a mountain finish at Lagunas de Neila.

Results

Vuelta a Burgos 2016, stage one: Sasamon to Melgar de Fernamental, 158km
1. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
2. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing
3. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep
4. Wouter Wipper (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
5. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) One Pro Cycling
6. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Esp) Movistar
7. Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
8. Pieter Vanspeybroucke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
9. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-BikeExchange
10. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Giant-Alpecin all same time

General classification after stage one
1. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
2. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing
3. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep