LUXEMBOURG is a country sandwiched between Belgium,France and Germany whose geography makes it a perfect setting for a tour leading up to the UCI world champions in two weeks time. The North is mountainous featuring the historical Ardennes whilst some flat plains in the south ideal for sprints. Enough of geography lesson on to the business. Joao Almeida wins yet another stage in 2021, his fifth after out sprinting Hirschi and Mollema. The bunched finish provided little room to maneuver but the Portuguese Deceunick- QuickStep rider found space on the left to power home. Watch how the riders on the left courted with disaster at the end there.maybe the organizers didn’t envision a crowded finish such as this so they made the road as narrow as this. They were confident the ramp and the climbs would do its job and reduce the leading field.
The 140 km stage 1 had an initial breakaway of 6 riders of which Almeida and Hirschi were not part of but they were all caught with 10 km to go.Hirschi looked favorite for the win going into the finale but good sprinting from Joao. I noticed also how the course had very few spectators, LUXEMBOURG population is only about 700 000, which is good for rider concentration.