Marijn van den Berg wins the 143.2 km long stage 1 ahead of Kim Heiduk (GER) and Pavel Bittner (CZE).
The Dutch finished the job, ridden perfectly by his team who were in control of the race from the very first kilometer, with a sprint finish.
The highlight of the race was the early breakaway which was then immediately resumed by the group that rode in unison until they were only 30km away from the finish line and the Spaniard, Xabier Mikel Azparren, went solo followed only by France and Belgium. His brave effort ended at the -16km mark when the teams started to organize themselves for the final sprint that saw the Netherlands take the win.
Marijn van den Berg: It was our strategy to make it a very hard race. The guys did an amazing job. I was just behind them on the last few kilometers and I was thinking – wow, it is crazy, it’s almost impossible to follow. – So this victory is also for them. There was not a single moment where we lost control of the race, despite the fact that the wind made it difficult today.
1 VAN DEN BERG Marijn – Netherlands – 143.2 km in 2:59:11
2 HEIDUK Kim – Germany
3 BITTNER Pavel – Czech Republic
4 VOGEL Alex – Switzerland
5 GUDMESTAD Tord – Norway