Primoz Roglic won the opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya on Monday, a hilly 164km run beginning and ending in the seaside town of Sant Feliu de Guixols on the Costa Brava.
Roglic was strongest over the final 200m in a slightly uphill dash for the line.
“You always hope for the best and then you have to do it,” said Roglic. “I just had enough in the legs at the end.”
Remco Evenepoel was a narrow and disappointed second.
“It’s the first time I’ve sprinted against Primoz. We had quite equal speed but I think I had to come from too far,” said the Soudal-Quick Step rider. “It’s a pity to come second.”
Roglic leads Evenepoel by four seconds in the overall standings thanks to bonus seconds for the win. Egan Bernal finished 20sec down.
Adam Yates hit the tarmac in a crash 5km from home and lost 10 minutes, crossing the line badly grazed. His teammate Joao Almeida is however only 10sec down in the rankings.
Tuesday’s second stage features a 2,135m altitude summit finish at Vallter after a category one ascent half way through the stage.
🏁 Viu de nou l'últim Km d'etapa d'avui a @Guixols!
— Volta a Catalunya (@VoltaCatalunya) March 20, 2023