The tough weather conditions on the opening stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana were no match for the team as Colin Joyce claimed an exciting fourth-place finish from a reduced bunch sprint.
Once he caught his breath, Joyce had nothing but praise for the team and its performance during the 169km stage from Elche to Ondara.
“We rode well with getting Stephen [Bassett] in the break, maintaining position, and Robin Carpenter did a great pull to get us in position when it mattered for the hills. I also had Nate [Brown] there to help set up the sprint so it’s really promising that we’re riding together like this straight away. Good things to come!”
For well over half the stage, a five-man breakaway controlled the race with Stephen Bassett working hard to make his mark. They managed to build a gap of five minutes before being reeled back in as the peloton upped its pace towards the final categorized climb of Sa Creueta.
As conditions worsened, a solo attack from the bottom of the final climb saw off any chance of a sprinter’s victory, and as the peloton spread out, the team kept Joyce in contention and out of trouble at the front of the pack.
Nate Brown brought Joyce to the front in the closing kilometers where Joyce pulled off an impressive sprint for third from the bunch, fourth overall.
— Rally Cycling (@Rally_Cycling) April 14, 2021
“It was definitely a hard day out,” added Joyce. “We’re still ambitious and have a strong team here so we’ll keep fighting and see what opportunities we can create for ourselves over the next four stages.”
After a strong start to the race, the team will be invigorated going into tomorrow’s 179km stage which starts and finishes in Alicante. With more gorgeous Spanish scenery and a downhill finish promising spectacular racing, make sure you catch the action, which will be broadcast live on GCN+ and Eurosport from 7 am CT.
Stage 1 results
1 SCOTSON Miles, Groupama – FDJ 4:14:57
2 DEGENKOLB John, Lotto Soudal 0:28
3 RIOU Alan, Team Arkéa Samsic ”
4 JOYCE Colin, Rally Cycling ”
5 CONSONNI Simone, Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ”
6 FERASSE Thibault, B&B Hotels p/b KTM ”
7 KÜNG Stefan, Groupama – FDJ ”
8 BONNAMOUR Franck, B&B Hotels p/b KTM ”
9 LASTRA Jonathan, Caja Rural – Seguros RGA ”
10 MERTZ Rémy, Bingoal Pauwels Sauces ”