De Witte 155 kms in the breakaway in first stage Murcia - Roompot Charles Cycling Team
De Witte 155 kms in the breakaway in first stage Murcia

Mathias De Witte showed the team’s colours in the first stage of the two-day Vuelta a Murcia. He was part of the breakaway with six others. They were reeled in by the peloton just before the only climb of the day. Nick van der Lijke was the first rider of Roompot – Charles at the finish line, in 15th place. 

The first stage in the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia went from Yecla to San Javier. Good for 188,8 kilometers and one categorized climb, one of third category with the top about thirty kilometers before the finish. Just before the climb the break was over and Mathias De Witte and the others were eaten up by the peloton.

“I had about 155 kilometers up front,” says De Witte. “From the start on some riders tried to jump away from the bunch and I immediately went along. And this is my first race of the season… I hoped to be able to stay ahead of the bunch before the climb, but that wasn’t the case. I feel good though, better than last year at the start of the season. I enjoyed myself today.”

In the final, a group of seven favorites went on the attack. Pello Bilbao (Astana) won the stage, Nick van der Lijke finished in a small chasing group, in fifteenth position. “It was full gas on the only climb of the day”, says sport director Erik Breukink. “Nick and Sjoerd were among the chasing group behind the leaders. Unfortunately Van Ginneken was dropped before the finish.”

Tomorrow is the second and final race day in the Vuelta a Murcia. The stage between Beniel and Murcia has 177,3 race kilometers and four official KOMs, one of which of first category.


Photo: Pedro Semitiel

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