Cycling News

Tour of Guangxi: Elia Viviani claims wide open sprint on stage 1

Cofidis' Spanish rider Ion Izaguirre Insausti cycles in a lone breakaway in the final ascent of the Col de la Croix Rosier during the 12th stage of the 110th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 169 km between Roanne and Belleville-en-Beaujolais, in central-eastern France, on July 13, 2023. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

Elia Viviani (Ineos-Grenadiers) claimed victory in the sprint on the opening stage of the six day Tour of Guangxi, chasing down the early launching Jonathan Milan (Bahrain-Victorious) on the wide open roads of the finishing straight in Baihai.

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) jumped at the last moment on the left hand side of the road, to pip Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Dstny) for the final podium place in stage 1 of the WorldTour race in China, which was returning from a four year hiatus.

The flat 135.6km stage took a predictable path, with the early break hauled in at 15km to go and then it was all about setting the scene for the sprinters. The speeds began to ramp up at 5km to go, and with so much road to play with it was hard for riders to know whether to follow the riders pushing the pace on the left or right.

After the final corner Milan launched on the right, but a wall of riders spread across the road were closing in, with Viviani popping his nose out into the wind from behind Milan’s wheel at just the right time to claim his first WorldTour win in four years.

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