Cimolai outsprints Bouhanni and wins Volta a Catalunya opener

The 175.8km stage started and finished in the same seaside town, but there was plenty of drama in between as the peloton were forced to negotiate a hilly opening to the race.

Fatigue played a part in a sprint finish that reflected the difficulty of a day that had included six categorised climbs, with Bouhanni setting out for home a fraction early and Cimolai catching him on the line.

“Two days ago I rode the Milano-Sanremo — it’s a long race, but today in the final, I stayed very well positioned,” Cimolai said. “I want to give thanks to all my team. Today it was fantastic.”

Volta a Catalunya 2017 – stage 1 results ( Calella – Calella ):

1) Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ 4:28:21

2) Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis)

3) Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data)

4) Dion Smith (Wanty – Groupe Gobert)

5) André Greipel (Lotto Soudal)

6) Jose Rojas (Movistar)

7) Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott)

8) Petr Vakoc (Quick-Step Floors)

9) Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb)

10) Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain Merida)