Tour of Catalonia: Chris Froome and Alberto Contador well placed


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The Independent Online

Slovenia’s Luka Mezgec won a sprint finish to take the leader’s jersey after the first stage of the Tour of Catalonia yesterday, with the pre-race favourites grouped together closely behind.

Mezgec, of Giant-Shimano, edged out Australian Leigh Howard and French rider Julian Alaphilippe to win the 169.7km opening leg in a time of 4 hours, 9 minutes, 13 seconds.

Tour de France champion Chris Froome of Team Sky was 10 seconds behind in 48th place, while Spain’s Alberto Contador, who won the Tirreno-Adriatico last week, also navigated the three mountain climbs without difficulty to sit 27th at the same time as Froome.

The race continues up the Catalan coast with today’s 168km leg from Mataro to Girona.