Ballerini strikes on Provence opening day

Ballerini strikes on Provence opening day

Thursday 11 February 2021 - 18:23
Ballerini strikes on Provence opening day

Ballerini strikes on Provence opening day

Thursday 11 February 2021 - 18:23

The Italian got his second victory for Deceuninck – Quick-Step and is the race’s first leader.

Davide Ballerini won a thrilling sprint at the end of a thrilling stage 1 of the Tour de la Provence, capitalising on an out-of-this-world lead-out provided by his Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammates, which included Julian Alaphilippe, despite the World Champion animating the day with a long-range attack.

Making his first competitive outing of the year, Julian zipped clear on the early slopes of Montée du Brûlat, following several punchy attacks of Rémi Cavagna, Kasper Asgreen and Mauri Vansevenant, and together with Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and Gianni Moscon (Ineos Grenadiers) carved out a solid 1:20 gap inside 40 kilometers to go. The rugged terrain and the tailwind played into their favour until ten kilometers remaining, when the exposed coastal roads got that advantage trimmed to a handful of seconds.

Not even having the peloton breathing on their necks could stop Alaphilippe from oozing panache and launching one final attack over the top of a small rise inside three kilometers to go, that forced the chasers to dig deep in order to bring him in. Once the catch was made, the 28-year-old Frenchman remained at the front and delivered a huge effort as part of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step lead-out, which also featured Kasper Asgreen and Yves Lampaert.

“We had a plan, and that was to try something after the first 100 kilometers of the stage, so I went with around 70 kilometers to go and got to spend a beautiful day at the front. The legs were good and together with the other two riders I shared the workload at the front. When the gap went over one minute, I still knew it was going to be difficult, but I still gave my best. At the end of the day, I am satisfied with my condition and the way it panned out for us”, explained Julian after the stage.

First to kick out on the finishing straight was Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), who opened a significant gap on the others. With the wind blowing from the right side in Six-Fours-les-Plages, Davide Ballerini timed it perfectly and surged down the barriers some 150 meters from the line, shooting past the Frenchman and opening his 2021 account, thus giving the Wolfpack a perfect start to the season.

“I had good legs coming into the race after the training camp, but I didn’t expect anything like this. We have a very strong team for this race and are all extremely motivated, so to get the win on the first day is just great. A big thank you goes to all the guys, because they put in an incredible effort and were pretty special the entire day.”

“The final wasn’t easy. Démare took six meters, but I found the space to come back, as well as the speed I needed to pass him. To win so early, and in front of one of last year’s best sprinters, is good for the confidence and brings me a lot of joy”, added Ballerini, who on Friday will sport the race’s Mondrian-style leader’s jersey.

 

Photo credit: ©Billy Ceusters

Race details

1 Davide Ballerini
Deceuninck - Quick Step
4:43:23
2 Arnaud Démare
Groupama - FDJ
0:00
3 Nacer Bouhanni
Team Arkéa Samsic
0:00
4 Clément Venturini
AG2R Citroën Team
0:00
5 Matthew Walls
BORA - hansgrohe
0:00
6 Ide Schelling
BORA - hansgrohe
0:00
7 Bryan Coquard
0:00
8 Phil Bauhaus
Bahrain - Victorious
0:00
9 Matteo Moschetti
Trek - Segafredo
0:00
10 Alexander Kristoff
UAE-Team Emirates
0:00
17 Zdeněk Štybar
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
19 Kasper Asgreen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
45 Mauri Vansevenant
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
54 Julian Alaphilippe
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
57 Yves Lampaert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
95 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:07
1 Davide Ballerini
Deceuninck - Quick Step
4:43:13
2 Arnaud Démare
Groupama - FDJ
0:04
3 Nacer Bouhanni
Team Arkéa Samsic
0:06
4 Lilian Calmejane
AG2R Citroën Team
0:06
5 Julian Alaphilippe
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:07
6 Bauke Mollema
Trek - Segafredo
0:09
7 Gianni Moscon
INEOS Grenadiers
0:09
8 Clément Venturini
AG2R Citroën Team
0:10
9 Matthew Walls
BORA - hansgrohe
0:10
10 Ide Schelling
BORA - hansgrohe
0:10
21 Zdeněk Štybar
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:10
23 Kasper Asgreen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:10
46 Mauri Vansevenant
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:10
57 Yves Lampaert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:10
96 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:17
1 Davide Ballerini
Deceuninck - Quick Step
15 pt
2 Arnaud Démare
Groupama - FDJ
12 pt
3 Delio Fernández Cruz
DELKO
10 pt
4 Nacer Bouhanni
Team Arkéa Samsic
10 pt
5 Clément Venturini
AG2R Citroën Team
9 pt
6 Matthew Walls
BORA - hansgrohe
8 pt
7 Ide Schelling
BORA - hansgrohe
7 pt
8 Lilian Calmejane
AG2R Citroën Team
6 pt
9 Bryan Coquard
6 pt
10 Julian Alaphilippe
Deceuninck - Quick Step
5 pt
1 Matthew Walls
BORA - hansgrohe
4:43:23
2 Ide Schelling
BORA - hansgrohe
0:00
3 Matteo Moschetti
Trek - Segafredo
0:00
4 Aurélien Paret-Peintre
AG2R Citroën Team
0:00
5 Aleksandr Vlasov
Astana - Premier Tech
0:00
6 Matteo Jorgenson
Movistar Team
0:00
7 Harold Tejada Canacue
Astana - Premier Tech
0:00
8 Egan Bernal Gómez
INEOS Grenadiers
0:00
9 Florian Vermeersch
Lotto Soudal
0:00
10 Max Kanter
Team DSM
0:00
14 Mauri Vansevenant
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
1 Lilian Calmejane
AG2R Citroën Team
15 pt
2 Delio Fernández Cruz
DELKO
9 pt
3 Julian Alaphilippe
Deceuninck - Quick Step
5 pt
4 Ivan Centrone
Xelliss - Roubaix Lille Métropole
4 pt
5 Giulio Ciccone
Trek - Segafredo
3 pt
6 Gianni Moscon
INEOS Grenadiers
2 pt
7 Mauri Vansevenant
Deceuninck - Quick Step
2 pt
8 Clément Davy
Groupama - FDJ
2 pt
9 Ben O'Connor
AG2R Citroën Team
1 pt
10 Alessandro Fedeli
DELKO
1 pt
1 BORA - hansgrohe 14:10:09
2 Deceuninck - Quick Step 0:00
3 Bahrain - Victorious 0:00
4 Groupama - FDJ 0:00
5 AG2R Citroën Team 0:00
6 Team Arkéa Samsic 0:00
7 Astana - Premier Tech 0:00
8 INEOS Grenadiers 0:00
9 Trek - Segafredo 0:00
10 Team Total Direct Energie 0:00

Top results

1 Davide Ballerini
Deceuninck - Quick Step
4:43:23
2 Arnaud Démare
Groupama - FDJ
0:00
3 Nacer Bouhanni
Team Arkéa Samsic
0:00
See all race results

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