This Saturday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux started its Spanish triptych with the Tour of Murcia (1.1, 12/02), a classic of 188 kilometer between Fortuna and Puerto de Cartagena. Next to the Alto Collado Bermejo (17.5km at 5%) halfway through the race, the contenders for the victory had to cover the Alto El Cedacero 20 kilometer before the finish.
Belgian rider Kobe Goossens finished three times in the top ten in the Challenge Mallorca two weeks ago and showed himself again uphill by accompanying a counterattack on the Alto Collade Bermejo. These men caught the early breakaway and started the downhill 2 minutes ahead of a reduced peloton.
Several teams joined forces in the chasing peloton with Jan Bakelants, Théo Delacroix, Biniam Girmay and Loïc Vliegen to reduce the gap to the four leaders. But Goossens’ group resisted well and started the final climb of the day in the lead. McNulty then distinguished himself from his breakaway companions before being caught with 5 kilometer to go by a chasing group of fifteen riders with Goossens and Vliegen.
In the end, it was Covi (UAE) who made the decisive move with 5 kilometer to go and preceded the sprinting group by one second on the line. Vliegen sprinted to fifth place, Goossens crossed the line in eleventh place.