Rally UHC Cycling’s “breakaway slayer,” Robin Carpenter, won all three KOMs during stage one of the SKODA-Tour de Luxembourg to take an early lead in the competition and move into the purple leader’s jersey. It’s the team’s first participation in the UCI 2.HC race and is a sign of things to come following Wednesday’s opening prologue through the heart of Luxembourg’s capital city.
“I’m proud every time I get to stand on a podium, no matter where it is, what the race is, or what it’s for,” said Carpenter. “Except for fan favorite, that’s usually just embarrassing.”
In what he commonly refers to as his “happy place,” Carpenter forced the main breakaway of the day as the peloton approached the first intermediate sprint 34 km into the stage.
“We were all hands on deck to go in the break,” said Carpenter. “It’s always a huge effort to get there and today it was just a little bit harder because we were approaching the first time bonus sprint when we got our gap.”
With three climbs on offer in the first half of the 191 km race, the pressure was on and Carpenter’s breakaway companions were eager to earn points as well.
“There was definitely a good battle for the KOMs and I’m happy that my legs felt good enough to get it done,” said Carpenter. “I wasn’t sure how my legs were coming into this race so I’m happy to be able to show something coming off of a break.”
Team director Andy Bajadali radioed Carpenter to sit up from the breakaway inside 40 km to go as their gap to the peloton plummeted. This foresight allowed Carpenter to conserve energy heading into Friday’s 167 km to Rosport.
“For sure I’m going to try to defend my lead tomorrow,” said Carpenter. “This jersey is definitely worth going after.”
The peloton reeled in the remnants of the day’s breakaway inside 10 km to go as the leadout trains battled it out on the finishing circuit around Bascharage. Adam de Vos, Colin Joyce, Ryan Anderson, and John Murphy all took pulls at the front to set up current US National Criterium Champion Ty Magner for the sprint and 16th place.
Stage one results
1 LAPORTE Christophe Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 4:48:31
2 JULES Justin Wallonie-Bruxelles
3 GROSU Eduard Michael Delko Marseille Provence
4 PETIT Adrien Team Total Direct Energie
5 VAN ROOY Kenneth Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
6 VAN GINNEKEN Sjoerd Roompot – Charles
7 VLIEGEN Loïc Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team
8 NÕMMELA Aksel Wallonie-Bruxelles
9 PASQUALON Andrea Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team
10 PLANCKAERT Edward Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
11 ALBANESE Vincenzo Bardiani – CSF
12 BRESCIANI Michael Bardiani – CSF
13 ALLEGAERT Piet Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
14 BRØCHNER Nicolai Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
15 GENIETS Kevin Luxembourg
16 MAGNER Ty Rally UHC Cycling
KOM standings after stage one
1 CARPENTER Robin Rally UHC Cycling 13
2 VLIEGEN Loïc Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team 6
3 REKITA Szymon Leopard Pro Cycling 5
4 ALARCÓN Raúl W52 / FC Porto 4