Kooij ninth on first stage ZLM Tour
Surprisingly, the first bunch sprint of the ZLM Tour did not take place. Olav Ko...
Primoz Roglic has sprinted to second place in the second stage of the Volta a Catalunya. On the final climb to the Vallter 2000 ski resort, Roglic reacted well to an attack from his rivals, but the Slovenian was beaten in the sprint by Italy's Giulio Ciccone.
The stage race saw the peloton climb for the first time this week. After more than 165 kilometres, it reached the finish line at an altitude of more than two thousand metres. The traditional breakaway was caught at the foot of the climb, and the favourites contended for victory.
On the climb, Team Jumbo-Visma took control and was soon joined by other teams. Colombian Esteban Chaves was the first to make a move. He opened up a lead of over half a minute but was unable to hold on. Remco Evenepoel accelerated in the final kilometres with Roglic and Ciccone on his wheel. After catching up to Chaves, the trio engaged in a sprint battle for victory. The Italian proved the fastest.
Roglic remained in the lead of the general classification. "I can live with this performance", he said. "It was the first time in a long time that I raced at over two thousand metres. I am ecstatic about the team's work. My teammates did the work during the day, which freed me up to focus on the last climb. For the outside world, it's just Remco against Primoz this week. Nonetheless, you can see several cyclists vying for victory. I'm not surprised by Ciccone's shape; he was also in good shape in Tirreno-Adriatico. He deserved to win today."
"I am delighted with my form and enjoy racing again."
After being sidelined for a considerable time with a shoulder injury, the 33-year-old rider is in good condition. "I am delighted with my form and enjoy racing again. Today and yesterday, I was able to get good results. I'm hoping to carry on like this with the squad next week. We will do our best."