Reigning Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas finished just outside the top-10

The opening time trial of the Volta a Valenciana went to Edvald Boasson Hagen, who bested both climbers and time trial specialists to take the race lead.

Boasson Hagen took five seconds out of his nearest rival Ion Izagirre (Astana) on a course just 10km long, making a statement as the Dimension Data rider looks ahead to the Classics.

Reigning Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas made his return to racing, finishing just outside the top 10 in 13th with fellow Brit Harry Tanfield in 12th.

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Tanfield leads the youth classification.

Stage one of the week-long race was a short and fast course starting and finishing in the town of Orihuela.

After a flat 5km dash out from the town, the course ramped up into a 0.8km-long climb averaging 10 per cent, making it an unpredictable parcours.



The hot seat changed hands at rapid pace, with early benchmarks being set by Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida), Diego Rosa (Team Sky) and Jos Van Emden (Jumbo-Visma).

But it was Norwegian time trial champion Boasson Hagen who was able to power himself into the lead, setting a time of 12-55.

Izagirre was rider closest to toppling the 31-year-old, falling five seconds short – a substantial margin on such a short course.

German TT champion and former world title holder in the discipline Tony Martin was strong on the course, coming in third at seven seconds down on the winner.

Welshman Thomas, the current British TT champion, looked good during his ride having not raced since the Tour on Britain last September.

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Thomas finished 13th, 21 seconds down on his former team-mate Boasson Hagen.

Katusha-Alpecin’s Harry Tanfield was one place ahead, also 21 seconds down, in his first time trial with a WorldTour team.

The 2018 winner and road world champion Alejandro Valverde was characteristically strong, finishing eighth at 14 seconds down.

Volta a Valenciana continues with a 166km loop starting and finishing in Alicante on stage two.

Result

Volta a Valenciana 2019 stage one: Orihuela – Orihuela (10.2km)

1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Dimension Data, in 12-55
2. Ion Izagirre (ESP) Astana, at 5 secs
3. Tony Martin (GER) Jumbo-Visma, at 7 secs
4. Dylan Teuns (BEL) Bahrain-Merida, at 8 secs
5. Jos Van Emden (NED) Jumbo-Visma, at 10 secs
6. Nelson Oliveira (POR) Movisar, at 11 secs
7. Pello Bilbao (ESP) Astana, at 13 secs
8. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar, at 14 secs
9. Jan Tratnik (SLO) Bahrain-Merida, at 19 secs
10. Dan Martin (IRL) UAE Team Emirates, at 20 secs

Others
12. Harry Tanfield (GBR) Katusha-Alpecin, at 21 secs
13. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Team Sky

General classification after stage one

1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Dimension Data, in 12-55
2. Ion Izagirre (ESP) Astana, at 5 secs
3. Tony Martin (GER) Jumbo-Visma, at 7 secs
4. Dylan Teuns (BEL) Bahrain-Merida, at 8 secs
5. Jos Van Emden (NED) Jumbo-Visma, at 10 secs
6. Nelson Oliveira (POR) Movisar, at 11 secs
7. Pello Bilbao (ESP) Astana, at 13 secs
8. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar, at 14 secs
9. Jan Tratnik (SLO) Bahrain-Merida, at 19 secs
10. Dan Martin (IRL) UAE Team Emirates, at 20 secs

Others
12. Harry Tanfield (GBR) Katusha-Alpecin, at 21 secs
13. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Team Sky