Maximiliano Richeze was Quick-Step Floors' best-placed rider on the opening day of the World Tour race.
A breakaway comprising four riders animated stage 1 of the BinckBank Tour, which took place between the Dutch towns of Breda and Venray, over nearly 170 kilometers, on a fairly flat parcours. Despite not having moe than three minutes on the bunch, Piet Allegaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Elmar Reinders (Roompot) fought for bonus seconds at the Golden Kilometer and managed to stay at the front until the final five kilometers, when the sprinters' teams swept past them.
The jostle for position, together with the fast speed and a tricky roundabout coming just ahead of the closing kilometer disrupted the peloton's rhythm and split the bunch, turning to ashes all the heavy work laid down by the teams up until that point. Only a handful of riders got to contest the sprint in Venray, won by Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), who pipped Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) to the line.
First Quick-Step Floors rider to come home was two-time Vuelta a San Juan stage winner Maximiliano Richeze. Our riders will now turn the attention to the 9km-long individual time trial scheduled Tuesday afternoon on the streets of Voorburg, which should lead to significant changes in the general classifications.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele