Miles Scotson holds on despite crashing to take stage one of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2021

The former Australian champion used the wet roads to his advantage to go clear on a fast descent to the finish

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unsurprisingly, most of the riders on the front of the chase were from the WorldTour teams of Lotto-Soudal, Movistar and Cofidis along with top Spanish second division team, Caja Rural. The peloton managed to pull back to attackers with 32km to go.

Scotson had managed to pull out the gap to 48 seconds with 5km to go. The Australian continued to look solid for the stage win. That was suddenly in doubt with 3km to go as he crashed on a roundabout, but luckily he and his bike were fine and he managed to get back on the bike.

1. Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ, in 4-14-57

2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto-Soudal, at 28 seconds

3. Alan Riou (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic

4. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling

5. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis

6. Thibault Ferasse (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM

7. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ

8. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic

9. Jonathan Lastra (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA

10. Rémy Mertz (Bel) Bongoal-Pauwels Suaces-Wallonie Bruxelles, all at same time.

1. Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ, in 4-14-57

2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto-Soudal, at 34 seconds

3. Alan Riou (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic, at 36s

4. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling, at 38s

5. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis

6. Thibault Ferasse (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM

7. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ

8. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic

9. Jonathan Lastra (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA

10. Rémy Mertz (Bel) Bongoal-Pauwels Suaces-Wallonie Bruxelles, all at same time.

He held off the chasing peloton to take victory and the yellow leaders jersey by 28 seconds over the chasing peloton led in by Degenkolb.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2021 stage one, Elche to Ondara (166km)

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How it happened

The early break that got away was made up of five riders with Raffaele Radice (Mg.k Vis VPN), Laurent Teugels (Tarteletto-Izorex), Stephen Bassett (Rally), Maxime Cam (B&B Hotels p/b KTM) and Ibon Ruiz (Kern Pharma).

They were later joined by a group of 11 riders including Swiss champion Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and one of the pre-race favourites Élie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic). This meant the gap to the peloton went from around two minutes to around 20 seconds with 37km to go.

González dropped back to the peloton that was made up of only around 40 riders, 30 seconds behind Scotson with 18km to go. Movistar and Caja Rural were the only teams trying to chase.

In the chase Küng, Scotson’s team-mate was doing all he could to get in the way of the chase as Cofidis came up to try and help Movistar and Caja Rural with 7km to go.

Results

This is the Australian's second-ever win away from the Australian national title he got back in 2017, which he took in a very similar fashion.

The weather played a huge part as the peloton was all over the road on the final climb and was stretched further on the descent with Movistar struggling to hold control.

The early break was joined by a much larger group that included some very dangerous riders for the stage and the overall, so it was swiftly brought back, setting up the late attack from Scotson.

Stage two of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana is a lot flatter than stage one with a likely bunch sprint between the likes of Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) on the cards.

The descent of the final climb of the day, the Sa Creuta, was fast and damp with riders stretching across the road. Miles Scotson (Groupama-FDJ) used that chaos in the pack to power away. Puerto Rican champion, Abner González (Movistar) tried to join him but could not match the power of the former Australian champion.

Miles Scotson took stage one of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2021 on his own ahead of the peloton led in by John Degenkolb, despite crashing in the final five kilometres.

Scotson (Groupama-FDJ) went clear with around 18km to go, using the descent from the Sa Creuta and powering clear from the nervy peloton on the damp roads. Degenkolb (Lotto-Soudal) sprinted to second.

Stage two starts and finishes in Alicante and takes on a lumpy profile of 179km before again descending to the finish on a very similar day to stage one.

General classification