Herregodts was the strongest of the breakaway to take the first stage and overall lead in the Andalucian 5-day stage race.
23-year-old Herregodts powered past Stephen Bassett in the final 100 m of a punchy finish in Iznajar after he already dislodged his 7 breakaway-companions of the 200 km-long stage.
Herregodts started his season the way he ended his last: with a surprising, but overly deserved victory. He took his first pro victory at the Ronde van Drenthe last October and continues his winning ways in Spain.
“I knew that a large breakaway group would be a perfect scenario. We didn’t go full gas in the beginning as the peloton gave us a nice bonus. So I asked the other leaders to take it easy.”
“At 100 km from the finish we did shifts gears and upped the pace. In the peloton they had to sacrifice riders as well to close the gap to a group of 8 leaders. In front, there was a good understanding and cooperation. Nobody skipped his turn.”
“There were 3 to 4 riders who were at the same level and one couldn’t seem to lose the others. So I trusted my sprinting capacities as I’m a strong finisher after a tough day. I’m really happy I could pull it off! It’s a big win for our team. Last year, I finished 13th, but the level of riders was lower then. I didn’t come to Andalucia with ambition for the GC. This race is a success already.”