After a fast day of short, steep climbs, Corbin Strong dug deep and sprinted to an emphatic victory on the first stage of the Tour de Luxembourg.
The team was highly motivated to get a result right from the start, chasing down moves and pacing the peloton all day. After the main breakaway was caught just before the last climb, there was an attack, which Mike Woods expertly chased down, ensuring it never gained the momentum it needed to get a gap. From then on, it was a full-gas sprint to the line, and once Strong moved himself into position on the last corner, he started his sprint, and proved to be too fast for the rest of the riders, and he crossed the line victorious.
“It’s a really nice feeling winning, the team rode exceptionally today,” an ecstatic Corbin said. “I’ve been in really good shape all season, but never quite pulled off the victory, so it’s a really good feeling to get it today.”
From the start, Strong knew this stage would suit him, having reconned the course the day before. “It was a really good stage for me, I knew I would always be on the limit, but if I could suffer and be there at the finish, I would have a good chance at being the fastest guy there.” Despite feeling confident he could produce a result today, Strong had to concede that it was a hard day on the bike. “It definitely wasn’t easy and I had to dig deep in the last climb, but thankfully I was in a good position, and the guys did a perfect job all day and I was able to finish it off.”
Sports Director, Oscar Guerrero, was delighted with Strong and the entire team, who played their roles perfectly.
“We knew we had options today with Corbin, the final was very good for him, as we did a recon yesterday. But still, we had to work hard, and we were the first team to work today. Krists did an incredible job bringing the gap to the breakaway down and positioning the guys in the last moment at twelve kilometers to go, and after with Hugo until three kilometers, and then Mike too. Corbin did everything well with the timing, he was a little far back with a kilometer to go, but he had the confidence to wait until the last corner and position himself well there, and then he finished perfectly. I’m very proud of the team because unfortunately we lost Jakob Fuglsang, but even still we owned the day, and when the riders commit like this, it makes it really special.”