August Jensen took the lead in both the points and intermediate sprints jersey standings on stage 1 of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in Spain.
The Norwegian was part of a five-rider breakaway and used his extensive lead out prowess to his advantage, winning both of the day’s sprints at La Póveda de Soria and El Royo on the hilly 168.9km route. Jensen then won the sprint at Coca in the opening stages of stage 2 to secure the jersey.
“I’m happy to finally take a few trips up the podium representing Human Powered Health,” he said afterward. “It’s not every day that I am in a break, so when I found myself in one today I wanted to make something out of it.”
After his national championships, the 31-year-old had a break in his race calendar, but continued to fill this with training opportunities, some away from the bike, to help both general health, fitness and mindset.
“A few weeks after nationals my girlfriend and I went on a week of hiking in the Dolomites as our vacation,” he explains. It was a nice way to have some time off the bike, but still active with a lot of longer hikes and overnights above 2,000m.”
As well as the fetching green and blue jerseys of the classification leader, Jensen also happily received two large wheels of cheese as a prize.
“Now I can arrange my own cheese running event,” he joked afterward, commenting on a niche sport popular in England. “The only thing stopping me has been the lack of big cheeses,” he added, as if lack of resources was the only thing holding him back.
The Vuelta a Castilla y Leon concludes tomorrow with team leader Bart Lemmen a manageable eight seconds back on GC. Stage two takes on a similarly rolling Spanish parcours with the race being shown live on the SPORTPUBLIC TV YouTube channel.
“Tomorrow I hope to get in another break,” Jensen ended on his objectives for stage two, “or at least try to sprint for the intermediate sprint that comes after about 20km. After that, I will try to support our GC guys.”
Vuelta a Castilla y Leon points standings after stage 1
1 JENSEN August – Human Powered Health 30 points
2 ENGELHARDT Felix – Team Jayco-AlUla 25
3 FEDELI Alessandro – Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team 20
4 MOLENAAR Alex – Electro Hiper Europa 16
5 GARCIA SORIANO Jose Maria – Electro Hiper Europa 15
Vuelta a Castilla y Leon sprint standings after stage 1
1 JENSEN August – Human Powered Health 6 points
2 GARCIA SORIANO Jose Maria – Electro Hiper Europa 3
3 BALDERSTONE Abel – Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 2
4 ELOSEGUI Iñigo – Equipo Kern Pharma 1