Groenewegen snags stage 1 victory at Tour de Guangxi

The Dutch rider won the flat stage to take the overall lead of the six-day race in southern China.

BEIJING (AFP) — Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen won the first stage of the Tour de Guangxi in southern China on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider crossed the line in 2:21:45, ahead of Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) and Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors). Groenewegen now leads the overall standings at the race.

Tuesday’s stage was a 107-kilometer route that entailed making two loops around the mostly flat coastal city of Beihai.

“It was a hectic final,” said Groenewegen, who now has 14 wins on the season. “At the end, a rider escaped on a small climb, but the team closed the gap. We did a good job in the final. I’m very happy that I’ve won the first stage. Big thanks to the team.

“Tomorrow, there will be another flat stage. Then we’ll try to win again.”

Riders are expected to face their biggest challenge on stage 5, a 212km route from Liuzhou to Guilin that will take in some rugged roads and three climbs.

The six-stage Tour of Guangxi, in an autonomous region bordering Vietnam, is the final stop on this year’s UCI World Tour.