Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) won the opening stage of the Tour de Wallonie at Héron for his first victory of the season. He loaded the peloton to cover a length of the bike in front of Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation) who finished second. Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix) followed for third place.
In the non-technical final five kilometers from the finish, the peloton absorbed a breakaway of three riders and Jumbo-Visma prepared Groenewegen for his first climb to the podium this season, his last victory coming 17 months ago during stage 4 of the 2020 Tour of the United Arab Emirates.
Stage 1 of the 185.7km five-day stage race included a series of four second class climbs and three intermediate sprints that allowed a number of groups to stray from the peloton, never winning. more than two minutes more.
On the 35-kilometer finish circuit through Liège and the first crossing of the finish line at Héron, the duo Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën) and Jenthe Biermans (Israel Start-Up Nation) were 44 seconds ahead of the controlled peloton. by sprinters.
After 1.4 km of Côte de Marneffe, the last categorized climb of the day, the attacks started at the head of the peloton 20 km from the finish.
A trio made up of Andrea Vendrane (AG2R Citroën), Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X Pro Cycling) escaped at the front of the peloton and quickly took a 20 second lead at 10 km from the finish. They stayed away for up to 4 km to go.
Entering Heron, the peloton absorbed the small breakaway, while sprinter John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal) became a non-factor in the line charge due to a puncture and Groenewegen came out flawlessly on the line to victory.
|Pos.||Rider’s name (country) Team||Result|
|1||Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma|
|2||Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation|
|3||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix|
|4||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates|
|5||Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates|
|6||Amaury Capiot (Bel) Team Arkea-Samsic|
|7||Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates|
|8||Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis|
|9||Giacomo Nizzolo (Italy) Qhubeka Assos team|
|ten||Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB|