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De Gendt wins opening stage of Volta a Catalunya

Credit: PA

Chris Froome finished safely in the pack as Thomas De Gendt won the opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya in a breakaway.

Lotto-Soudal's De Gendt launched a solo attack 60km from the finish of the 163km stage which started and finished in Calella, and took victory by two minutes and 38 seconds.

Froome is riding in his first WorldTour race of the season, and only his second event of the year following on from the Tour of Colombia in February.

However, leadership of Team Sky is in the hands of Paris-Nice winner Egan Bernal, who finished eighth.

Having picked up some bonus seconds late on the stage, the 22-year-old Colombian sits fifth in the general classification, two minutes 57 seconds behind De Gendt.