Intermarché-Circus-Wanty is off to a great start in 2023, after Kobe Goossens and Rui Costa’s recent wins, Biniam Girmay took the first stage of the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana. At this early part of the year, it’s no surprise that it was Girmay’s first win of the season. It came in a reduced bunch sprint into Altea, where many riders and teams have spent their recent training camps. Girmay kicked early and won by 2 lengths against Jumbo-Visma’s Olav Kooij and Ivan Garcia Cortina of Movistar. The latter’s team took 3rd, 4th and 5th in a very memeable ‘tactically we’re perfect’ moment.
Today’s stage was 189.4km long from Orihuela to Altea and after a relatively quiet opening, the climbs were back weighted into the stage. The Coll de Rates and Puerto de Bernia proving enough for some of the peloton with their early-season legs. Still, around 60 riders were able to contest the final stages of the stage. A late attack from Joan Bou of Euskatel-Euskadi wasn’t able to stick as the peloton ensured it would be a sprint. Altea’s tight streets poshed an issue for the leadouts but Biniam Girmay was able to coast through and kick at the right moment for the win. There should be further opportunities for Girmay this week in Valencia.
In the GC battle, Alexandr Vlasov finished 12th on the same time as Girmay. The day’s biggest loser was Ineo’s Grenadiers rider Carlos Rodriguez, who lost 92 seconds on what was a generally uneventful stage for most of the GC contenders. The GC battle should really kick off on Stage 4, which gives us at least 2 more similar punchy stages like today’s to look forward to.
Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Stage 1 results
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