Dylan Groenewegen wins Eneco Tour stage one

Dylan Groenewegen beats Nacer Bouhanni and Peter Sagan in a messy sprint to take the lead in the Eneco Tour

Dutch champion Dylan Groenewegen took his fourth win of the year on home soil by beating Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and newly crowned European champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) on the first stage of the Eneco Tour.

The LottoNL-Jumbo sprinter continued his run of good form, having won stage four of the Tour of Britain earlier in the month, to lead out the long sprint to Bolsward.

A scrappy sprint on a long, straight road saw some of the bigger name fast men struggling for position in what is a final warm up for next month’s World Championships.

Team Sky were hindered by crashes in the final 25km, with Geraint Thomas going down in a tumble caused by the narrowing of the road and later Danny van Poppel looked in some pain as he and a number of other riders crashed around the 16km mark.

Heading into the final 10km, the breakaway’s advantage narrowed to 25 seconds, with the peloton easily controlling proceedings. Lotto-Soudal headed the bunch until Andre Greipel told his teammates to knock off the pace somewhat to avoid catching the break too early.

Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet before stage one of the Eneco Tour (Watson)

Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet before stage one of the Eneco Tour (Watson)

FDJ, riding for Arnaud Démare, and Katusha, for Alexander Kristoff, were two of the other active teams at the front. The long, straight and flat roads of the Netherlands made it almost impossible for the breakaway to stay away.

Although an accelleration up front saw the break extend their lead to over 30 seconds with seven kilometres to go, but it was soon all over for the men up the road, mopped up just inside the three kilometre marker.

Katusha continued to cover the front of the peloton, but Tinkoff, Movistar and FDJ were among the other teams to make their presence felt.

The straight nature of the final kilometres meant the finish came down to a flat-out sprint, with two-time race winner Edvald Boasson Hagen opening up the sprint first.

The Norwegian champion was overtaken by the Dutch champion, with Groenewegen going for a long sprint and gaining enough distance on his rivals to take his speed to the line.

Bouhanni finished quickly to snatch second place, overtaking Sagan in the final metres. Kristoff finished fifth in the melee, with Marcel Kittel ninth and Greipel outside the top-10.

Tuesday’s stage two sees riders take on a 9.6km time trial route in Breda.

Eneco Tour stage one, Bolsward – Bolsward (184km)
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, 4-14-00
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ
8. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
9. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx-Quick Step
10. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, all same time

Peter Sagan before the Eneco Tour (Watson)

Peter Sagan before the Eneco Tour (Watson)

Overall classification after stage one
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, 4-14-00
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, at 4s
3. Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, st
4. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana, at 5s
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff, at 6s
6. Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida, at 7s
7. Bert van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen, at 8s
8. Brian van Goethem (Ned) Roompot Oranje Peloton, at 8s
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data, at 10s
10. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha, st

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