"I'm really happy about this victory. We already inspected the final stage during our training units yesterday, so I knew before the start of the stage that it could be a very good day for me. The team then positioned me perfectly on the last few kilometers. When the other cyclists slowed down for a short moment, I didn't hesitate, I attacked and went straight ahead with my strategy. From that moment onwards, I had to stake everything on one card, luckily nobody caught up with me and I was even able to cross the finish line a few seconds ahead." - Felix Großschartner
Felix Großschartner wins the opening stage of Vuelta a Burgos
Tailor-made attack and opening event
Hilly terrain, strong wind and a difficult finale with a steep climb on the last kilometer - today's opening stage of Vuelta a Burgos 2020 was anything but an easy start to the five-day stage race in northern Spain. After a fairly unagitated start, a breakaway group of four cyclists dominated large parts of the 157 kilometer long stage. However, when the wind freshened noticeably in the second half of the day, the peloton reacted and quickly reduced the lead that increased to about four minutes. Several falls caused additional nervousness in the field: Rafal Majka, a cyclist of BORA-hansgrohe, was unfortunately also affected. However, he was able to continue the remaining 53 kilometers to the finish line after his fall. Catching up with the breakaway group, BORA-hansgrohe positioned Jay McCarthy on the final kilometers. But in the end it was Felix Großschartner who surprised the entire peloton with an irresistible attack. At the final climb towards Mirador del Castillo, the Austrian quickly set himself apart from the other favorites and took an outstanding opening win with an eight-second lead. Jay McCarthy completed the perfect team result with an eighth place.
Reactions at the finish line
"During our team meeting today, I told the boys that if we got a chance on the last kilometer, we had to carry it through to the end. Our real plan was to cycle for Jay McCarthy who is a true expert when it comes to finish a stage. Additionally, we didn't want to lose any time in the overall standings with Felix Großschartner, Lennard Kämna and Rafal Majka. Felix was in a very good position and took his chance on the last kilometer. He really did a fantastic job and we are absolutely happy about his great performance. Jay also gave proof of his excellent shape with an eighth place. Tomorrow will be a day for the sprinters, after that we will go back to the mountains. We will try to defend the leader's jersey as long as possible." - Steffen Radochla, sporting director