Landa seals Burgos opener in style

01 Aug 2017

Landa seals Burgos opener in style

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Mikel Landa won the opening stage of the Vuelta a Burgos in style to move into an early race lead.

The Spaniard - racing on home roads - went on the attack inside the final 10 kilometres and animated the closing stages, leading an elite group clear, before sprinting away on the rise to the line in central Burgos.

He rounded Astana’s Sergei Chernetckii inside the final 100 metres and took the win by two seconds, celebrating as he crossed the line. What remained of the peloton rolled home five seconds back.

The team took it up in the closing stages after the opening day’s break - which included Tao Geoghegan Hart and David Lopez - was swept up, and it was Kenny Elissonde who hit the gas to kick it all off.

He strung out the peloton on the sharp ramps on the way into Burgos, before Landa swept past and built a gap on one of the numerous descents.

Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport) and Chernetckii joined Landa and the four worked well together, keeping the chasing pack at bay.

They were nearly caught at the base of the testing final slope but Landa and Chernetckii hit the power and distanced the rest, before Landa powered past.

The win also moves Landa to the top of the mountains classification, with team-mate Elissonde in second. The team also moves to the top of the team classification leaderboard.
Picture: Vuelta a Burgos

Picture: Vuelta a Burgos

Mikel Landa

Mikel Landa

I had the motivation. I also like the city and I had to try something.
Speaking after stepping onto the podium, Landa admitted he hadn't been expecting to win on day one.

He said: "It has been a surprise for me to win today but I had the motivation. I also like the city and I had to try something.
 
"I have a little bit of time that I can use in my favour for the rest of the race now so it might be a little bit easier, but nevertheless El Picon Blanco will be a finish where the differences of today might be insignificant.
 
"That day [stage three] will be very hard and all the favourites will compete for their position. It will be the decisive day."

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