It was a fast and furious start to the Tour of Denmark today, with Arvid de Kleijn sprinting to a strong fourth-place finish in Esbjerg. De Kleijn finished on the heels of WorldTour powerhouses Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma), Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick Step), and Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka NextHash).
The 175km stage was the flattest of the five-day tour and without the presence of strong crosswinds, the field sprint was inevitable. Rally Cycling kept de Kleijn safe and out of trouble as the field dodged street furniture and roundabouts heading into the finale where de Kleijn finished just off the podium.
“We did a great job as a team. I’m really proud of the guys and how they rode. I saw a really strong team today, and it was nice to be there with them.”
The Denmark opener was de Kleijn’s first race since the Dutch championships in June, signaling he hasn’t missed a step in his race preparation.
“After a pretty long break, I think my first race back went pretty well. I had a good feeling today and I finished fourth. I think it’s a great start.”
There will be other opportunities for de Kleijn to repeat his Tour of Turkey success, but unfortunately, it will be without former Canadian national road champion Matteo Dal-Cin. Dal-Cin crashed hard in the final corner, injuring his elbow, and has been forced to withdraw.
De Kleijn now sits fourth in the general classification, 12 seconds behind Groenewegen going into tomorrow’s 189km undulating stage.
“Tomorrow will be a pretty hard finish, maybe a sprint of 50 to 60 riders,” de Kleijn added. “I hope I will be there, and if I’m not there for sure the other guys on the team will be. We’ll take it day by day.”
Dylan Groenewegen wins the opening stage of @postnorddkrundt with a monster sprint like in his best days, dropping Cavendish from his back wheel. 👏 Also top leadout by Teunissen, Morkov wasn't there because of a puncture. #pndkr21
— Mihai Simion (@faustocoppi60) August 10, 2021
American viewers can catch all the action live on GCN+.
Stage 1 results
1 GROENEWEGEN Dylan Team Jumbo-Visma 3:47:36
2 CAVENDISH Mark Deceuninck – Quick Step ”
3 NIZZOLO Giacomo Team Qhubeka NextHash ”
4 DE KLEIJN Arvid Rally Cycling 0:02
5 BOL Cees Team DSM ”
6 TEUNISSEN Mike Team Jumbo-Visma ”
7 PEDERSEN Mads Trek – Segafredo ”
8 VAN DER SANDE Tosh Lotto Soudal ”
9 STEIMLE Jannik Deceuninck – Quick Step ”
10 BENDIXEN Louis Denmark ”
11 LAMPAERT Yves Deceuninck – Quick Step ”
12 MENTEN Milan Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB ”
13 THIJSSEN Gerben Lotto Soudal ”
14 VAN ROOY Kenneth Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise ”
15 JOYCE Colin Rally Cycling “