The story of the opening day of the race which this year runs its ninth edition was written inside the final kilometer: as the sprinters’ teams were fighting for every inch of the road in order to bring their leaders in the best position, a pile-up occurred with 500 meters to go and several riders ended up on the ground.
Remco Evenepoel was also involved in that late incident, but could get back on his bike and conclude the 168km stage, during which he worked together with Tim Declercq and Petr Vakoč to bring back the escapees. The 19-year-old Belgian neo-pro doesn’t have any serious injuries, but will be monitored overnight by the Deceuninck – Quick-Step medical staff and examined again Wednesday morning, before the start of stage 2.
The victory in Egersund went to Cees Bol (Team Sunweb), who won after a very hectic finale, during which Alvaro Hodeg couldn’t sprint properly, as the young Colombian explained after the finish, waxing lyrical: “It was cold out there, but the team did a great job, pulling behind the escapees and reeling them in inside the last ten kilometers. With two kilometers to go, Davide and Yves brought me in a perfect position and I safely navigated the finishing straight, but just I was about to open my sprint, a rider closed me and I couldn’t go. That’s cycling, sometimes it smiles to you, sometimes it doesn’t; all that we can do is try again tomorrow.”