Germany’s John Degenkolb won stage 1 of the Tour de l’Avenir on Monday.
Degenkolb out-sprinted Australia’s Michael Matthews and Poland’s Michel Kwiatkowski to win the 144.5km stage from Vierzon to Saint-Amand-Montrond.
American Taylor Phinney finished fifth in the same time to retain his overall lead. Britain’s Alex Dowsett sits second overall at six seconds back with Matthews third a further second behind.
The race finished with three full circuits of 20 km and featured a steep one-kilometer climb. French rider Loic Desriac rode solo for 100 km, never gaining more than a 3-minute gap, and was absorbed on the first circuit. Others tried to escape on the finish circuits and the race came down to a field sprint.
Phinney was disappointed to pull his foot out of the pedal at 300 meters to go, which lost him a chance to vie for the stage win. Meanwhile, the Degenkolb took full advantage of his teammates’ efforts to win by half a bike length ahead of the Aussie Michael Matthews.
Stage 2 is a 150.5km leg from Saint-Amand-Montrond to Cusset.
Stage 1 results
- 1. John Degenkolb, (Ger), at 3:37:05
- 2. Michael Matthews, (Aus), s.t.
- 3. Michal Kwiatkowski, (Pol), s.t.
- 4. Alexey Tsatevitch, (Rus), s.t.
- 5. Taylor Phinney, (USA), s.t.
- 1. Taylor Phinney, (USA), 3:46:00
- 2. Alex Dowsett, (Gbr), at 6
- 3. Michael Matthews, (Aus), at 7
- 4. Loïc Desriac, (Fra), at 19
- 5. John Degenkolb, (Ger), at 21