The Ronde de l’Isard 2020 started today with a 126 km long stage between Toulouse and Salies du Salat, featuring only one categorized climb halfway into the parcour. The stage was off to a fast start and quickly a group of 11 riders made it up the road, with Wessel Krul and Marco Frigo making it up the road and quickly opening a gap of half a minute.
The rush that the bunch felt to close down the move, turned out in several large groups going up the road with Stan van Tricht and Milan Paulus representing the Academy flag there. The groups joined together and after some kilometers, it was a group of 5 riders the ones in the lead, including our Wessel Krul, and a 26-man chasing bunch with riders of the likes of Milan Paulus, Stan van Tricht and Marco Frigo in it. The main peloton quickly became discarded for the stage win as halfway into the stage the gap was close to eight minutes.
The leading group made it’s way and the good understanding among the riders allowed them to keep the gap safe. Coming into the closing part of the day the front group was down to four riders, and in the reduced sprint Wessel Krul proved himself as the strongest and outpowered his breakaway companions to seize the stage win and become the first yellow jersey wearer of the race. Marco Frigo crossed the line in the group behind, 27″ down on the winner.
Tomorrow we will have a double-header with a mountaintop finish in the morning and a TTT in the afternoon.
Wessel Krul, stage winner and GC leader after the first stage of the 2020 Ronde de l’Isard:
“I’m very happy with how today went obviously. In such a period of uncertainty, it was great that the organization did the effort to go through with the race and that SEG Racing Academy decided to come by. The whole team did a very good job since the start, we were present in all of the breaks and always acting and not reacting. In the end, when I was in the group of four I was comfortable finishing in the sprint, so despite the attacks, I could keep the group together and sprint for the win. My grandad was recently diagnosed with cancer, and despite everything is going well and he’s safe, I had him in my mind and I wanted to win for him”