Aussie Groves wins first European pro race

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Australian criterium champion Kaden Groves has earned his first professional win in European cycling and given Team BikeExchange the perfect start to the Tour of Slovakia by edging to victory in the race prologue.

The promising 22-year-old sprinter, who won the national criterium in Ballarat in February, was the last rider down the start ramp for his Australian team and blasted around the short 1.6km course on the streets of central Kosice in 1 minute 50.46 seconds to snatch the win.

Groves was a mere 0.32 seconds ahead of German runner-up Jannik Steimle (Deceuninck Quickstep), the defending champion, with Poland's Marceli Boguslawski (Mazowsze Serce Polski) third on 1:51.37.

It was Groves' first victory on the roads of Europe after a couple of victories onhome roads and three in China.

"It's a big relief, it's been a long day today waiting for my turn, I was the last to go in the team," Groves told the BikeExchange website.

"I just listened to the guys who had gone before, did what they said and I'm very, very happy to come away today with the win."

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