Three weeks after the pre season training camp in Alicante, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux returned to the Spanish east coast this Wednesday, this time for racing at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (2.Pro, 2-6/02). From the start of the five day stage race, the seven riders under the direction of Aike Visbeek and Steven De Neef were confronted to a challenging stage with a lot of climbing containing two climbs in the final 20 kilometer towards Torralba del Pinar.
The roads never ceased going up until the top of El Remolcador (10km at 4%), halfway through the parcours of 166 kilometer. The early breakaway of five riders stayed ahead of the peloton until the the approach towards the two final climbs, the ollada de Ayodar(3,9km aan 5,4%) and the Torralba del Pinar (4,6km aan 6,8%). Sven Erik Bystrom and Loïc Vliegen started the final climb in the first group of around 20 riders thanks to the preparative work of his teammates. This group exploded before the top and the Norwegian rider crossed the line in 22nd place.