Brent van Moer claimed the race lead at the Criterium du Dauphine when getting the better of a breakaway group to take the first stage.
The Lotto Soudal rider was part of a four-man breakaway that escaped the clutches of the peloton early in the stage, and he soloed to victory when attacking on the two climbs of the Issoire finishing circuit.
The peloton closed the gap to 90 seconds with 15kms remaining, but despite a concerted effort they were unable to haul in Van Moer, who crossed the line 25 seconds in front of a bunch sprint led home by Sonny Colbrelli.
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After taking his first race win, the Belgian said: “The plan was to be in the break and hope I had some good names with me, then I took all the points for the mountains jersey, then in the end I felt really good and went alone.
“I don’t have such good memories of the Dauphine but now I’m happy I’m here.”
There were no dramas for the General Classification contenders, including Geraint Thomas, who finished comfortably in the pack.
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