Image 1 of 25
Kaden Groves gave BikeExchange-Jayco a morale-boosting sprint win in Cabo de Gata for the Vuelta a España, helping the Australian team overcome the pre-stage loss of team leader Simon Yates to COVID-19.
Danny van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished second and Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Deceuninck) was third on each side of Groves.
BikeExchange-Jayco had four riders on the front with four kilometres to go after a slow stage into a headwind. They then kept Groves ahead of the fight for position on the long finishing straight along the coast.
When John Degenkolb (Team DSM), Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates) surged and others ahead, Groves waited and then used their slipstreams before launching his own sprint to hit the line first.
“Maybe with about 50-100 metres to go I was fresher than the other guys who had to do efforts from behind to move up. Thankfully I was in the right position and got the gap to step out and do my sprint,” Groves said.
“Being my first Grand Tour win for sure it takes the cake. I’m super happy to get a win here already and there’s still more stages to come.
“This morning with the news of Simon [Yates] going positive for COVID-19 all the boys were disappointed. It’s the best way to bounce back after such bad news. I’m really happy to celebrate but I also wish he was here because he’s part of this team.”
Race leader Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) finished safely in the peloton and so kept his red jersey.
More to come.
Results powered by FirstCycling (opens in new tab)