Gianni Moscon holds on for stage one victory at Tour of the Alps 2021 after late attack

The Italian rider used a small climb with 3km to go to launch a late attack holding off the peloton all the way to the line

Gianni Moscon took stage one of the Tour of the Alps 2021 after a late attack saw him go solo in the final 3km before being joined by Idar Andersen in the final kilometre; the Italian winning in the final two-up sprint.

Moscon (Ineos Grenadiers) was joined by the Norwegian, Andersen (Uno-X) in the final kilometre but the youngster stayed on the front until 100 metres from the line where Moscon kicked round to take the victory.

Andersen held on for second ahead of a fast-finishing peloton led by Belarussian Aleksandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates).

Stage two is 121.5km from Innsbruck to a summit finish on the Feichten im Kaunertal along with three climbs along the way.

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How it happened

The opening stage of the five-day stage race held in Austria and Italy started in the town of Brixen before heading over a very hilly 140.6km profile to Innsbruck with a flat final 10km.

Three riders went away early on to get into the break pulling out a gap of just over three minutes, but the gap was swiftly dragged down again. The riders up front were Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation), Márton Dina (Eolo-Kometa), and Felix Engelhardt (Tirol-KTM).

It was Astana-Premier Tech who controlled the pace in the peloton throughout the day as they worked for their leaders in the overall and for the stage.

Engelhardt was dropped by De Marchi and Dina on the Axams climb, the second of the day with the gap back to the peloton dropping down to 1-16 with 40km to go. De Marchi then kicked on solo just before the top of the climb pulling out his advantage to 1-30 to the peloton.

De Marchi made it onto the second ascent of the Axams climb but his gap was starting to tumble as teams tried to control.

Behind, Czech youngster Karel Vacek (Qhubeka-Assos) hit out to try and bridge to De Marchi with 21km to go as the solo leader’s advantage dipped inside a minute. Hugh Carthy (EF-Nippo) and Tanel Kangert (BikeExchange) then tried a small move but they were all brought back.

Sergio Roman Martín (Caja Rural) bridged across to De Marchi with 20km to go, and various attacks continued to go off behind with Hungarian rider Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) joining the leading duo. Valter then attacked with De Marchi following, dropping Martín.

Sebastián Henao (Ineos Grenadiers), Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) and multiple others bridged over to the leaders but the peloton pulled it back as they went over the top of the Axams for the final time with 17km to go.

Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious), Santiago Umba (Androni), Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Trek-Segafredo), and Daniel Savini (Bardiani) got away on the descent and quickly pulling out around 15 seconds at the 10km to go mark.

Ineos Grenadiers used a small kick in the final 5km to go to really pull the gap right down before catching the group with Bilbao. Moscon then used the catch as a launchpad to go clear over the top where he took a gap of six seconds on the descent at 3km to the finish.



Andersen managed to bridge solo across to Moscon inside the final kilometre and immediately took over the pacing from the Italian all the way to the 100 metres to go mark where Moscon gladly sprinted past him to take the win.

The young Norwegian did manage to hold onto second place despite the fast-finishing Riabushenko leading in the peloton just behind.

Moscon now holds a four-second overall lead over Andersen, six seconds over Riabushenko and 10 seconds to the rest of the riders in the peloton going into stage two which is 121.5km of racing over several climbs starting in Innsbruck with a summit finish on Feichten im Kaunertal.

Results

Tour of the Alps 2021, stage one: Brixen to Innsbruck (140.6km)

1. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers, in 3-29-24
2. Idar Andersen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling
3. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
4. Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
5. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange
6. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
7. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
8. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
9. Natnael Tesfatsion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Qhubeka-Assos, all same time

General classification after stage one

1. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers, in 3-29-24
2. Idar Andersen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling, at 4 seconds
3. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates, at 6s
4. Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech, at 10s
5. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange
6. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
7. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
8. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
9. Natnael Tesfatsion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Qhubeka-Assos, all same time