Thursday, 5 May 2016

Danish rider Rasmus Lund Pedersen won the opening stage of 45th Course de la Paix. His breakaway companion Alexys Brunel finished second. Jonas Rutsch from Germany finished third twelve seconds behind.

Pedersen beats Brunel on the line (photo: Patress.cz)

The stage started with an attack from Kazakh rider Ilya Gorbushin. He managed to gain over four minutes gap as no team wanted to take responsibility for a chase. Final on the climb Rasmus Lund and Alexys Brunel attacked on Mukařov climb and quickly bridged to Kazakh rider. Gorbushin wasn't able to keep the pace with two leaders and was dropped to the main group.

From the peleton four chasers tried to counter attack: Niels Eekhoff, Chris Blevins, Jonas Rutsch and Andrea Innocenti. On the descent there was a series of crashes, with Felix Gall being one of the affected riders, luckily without serious injuries. The four chasers finished just twelve seconds behind Pedersen and Brunel. According to US team the peleton came around 1:30 behind but because of another crash in the final three kilometers they were give just about the same time as chasers.

Podium after the first stage (photo: Patress.cz)
Here's what the stage winner said after the stage:

"It was a very difficult stage, but I wanted to try to attack and I am so happy because I avoid crashes in the final kilometers which involved some of my colleague. The race will continue tomorrow with the time trial. After that I'll know how far I can go in this race."

Results

1. Rasmus Lund Pedersen
2. Alexys Brunel
3. Jonas Rutsch +12
4. Nils Eekhoff +12
5. Chris Blevins +12

Full results

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