Tao Geoghegan Hart wins opening stage Tour of the Alps, Arensman has to release early

The first stage in the Tour of the Alps, with its 127 kilometers, was the shortest of a total of five stages. After a flat first part of the race, the second part followed the Branderberg (6.2 kilometers, 6.1%), the Kerschbaumer Sattel (5.2 kilometers, 10.2%) and an uphill finish in Alpbach, a municipality in the Austrian Tyrol.

Sergio Samittier, Valentin Paret-Peintre, Andrea Garosio, Alex Martin, Moran Vermeulen, Mulu Kinfe Hailemichael took their chances in the early break. After 29 kilometers they were suddenly asked by the race organization to stop. The peloton was sent in the wrong direction and was no longer driving on the course… Moments later they were able to continue their way back.

At the foot of the Kerschbaumer Sattel, 17 kilometers from the finish, the six escapees were caught by the peloton. The INEOS Grenadiers men picked up the pace, leaving the door open at the back. Remarkable: their own leader Thymen Arensman was also unable to follow.

Jack Haig (Bahrain – Victorious) attacked at one kilometer from the top. The Australian was joined by Ecuadorian Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (EF Education-EasyPost). In the descent it turned out that Haig can descend quite a bit. He threw himself down and opened a gap on Cepeda, who was later caught by the thinned peloton.

At the foot of the six-kilometre final climb, Haig was 15 seconds ahead of the chasers, where Geraint Thomas took the lead. He was only caught in the last super steep kilometer. Hugh Carty (EF Education-EasyPost) went all out. The Briton bit the pain, but saw his compatriot Tao Geoghegan Hart pass just before the finish. The Austrian Felix Gall (AG2R Citroën Team) finished second, ahead of Hugh Carty.

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