Canadian Cyclist


March 19/12 13:26 pm - Volta a Catalunya: Stage 1

Posted by Editoress on 03/19/12

Michael Albasini Wins First Stage of Volta a Catalunya
Solo Victory in Calella

Michael Albasini won the opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya. The Swiss crossed the finish line in Calella alone to take his first win in GreenEDGE colors. Part of a five-rider break that formed following the first intermediate sprint, Albasini attacked from a group of riders in the breakaway on the Alt de Collsacreu, 15 kilometres from the finish.

"It's great to get the win," said Albasini. "The first win with a new team is always very special. I worked hard in the off season. To see this work pay off for me and the team is important."

GreenEDGE started the seven-day tour with a two-pronged approach for the first day of racing.

"We had two different scenarios to play with," said Sports Director Neil Stephens. "We had Michael, Daryl [Impey], Fumy [Beppu] and Christain [Meier] all ready to take any opportunity they saw. Among those four, Michael was the most experienced. We also had the sprinter side of the team with Julian [Dean], Brett [Lancaster] and Allan Davis ready to mix things up in a bunch sprint. I was especially interested to see how Allan would go as it's been some time since he raced. I told the sprinters they needed to get over the first category climb and we would reassess then. They all made it over the climb, but by then, Michael was solid in the break."

The intermediate sprint came around the 40 kilometre mark of the 138.9 kilometre stage. Albasini attacked for the points on offer and found himself with an unexpected gap.

"There was a lot of attacking early on," noted Stephens. "We obviously took part of these attacks, too. Michael went for the intermediate sprint and found himself in a group with five guys. The group worked really well together."

Anthony Delaplace (Saur - Sojasun) , Nicolas Edet (Le Credit En Ligne), Timmy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Ben Gastauer (Ag2r La Mondiale) had joined Albasini up the road. The quintet worked together to build up a maximum five minute advantage over the hilly parcours.

"The break maintained a nice gap heading into the final climb," Stephens said. "Michael knew he was the strongest there. He was confident of his form. He went four or five kilometres from top of the climb and they never saw him again."

"I realized if I could unload the other guys in the break, I had a good chance of making it to the finish," added Albasini. "At that point, I wasn't sure if I could hold off the bunch chasing behind. I had [Sports Director] Vittorio Algeri behind me giving me information and willing me onto the finish. I really appreciate the work of the team that put me in the position to win."

With Albasini up the road, the break quickly splintered. Delaplace and Edet unsuccessfully attempted to reel back the the Swiss GreenEDGE rider, while Duggan and Gastauer were caught by the bunch before the finish. Delaplace would eventually come home in second with Edet just behind in third. The field contested the sprint for fourth with Allan Davis taking fourth in the sprint for seventh overall.

"A bunch sprint is not quite the same as a full-on sprint for the win, but it's good training for those types of situations," explained Stephens.

Albasini walked away from stage one with the leader's jersey, mountain's jersey and points jersey.

"It's a great win today - a great win for GreenEDGE and Michael," said Stephens. "This is a really hard race with some big climbs on the third day of racing. There are riders here with general classification aspirations. Our guys aren't amongst them. We'll enjoy the leader's jersey tomorrow, and we might hold onto for one more day after that. We're not looking to defend the jersey all week. We came here for stage wins, and that goal hasn't changed."


Report courtesy GreenEDGE Cycling Team


Stage 1: Calella to Calella, 138.9 Km
1 Michael Albasini (Sui) GreenEDGE Cycling Team 3:20:04
2 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 0:42
3 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Le credit en ligne 1:14
4 Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DMC 1:32
5 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R la Mondiale
6 Roger Kluge (Ger) Project 1t4i
7 Allan Davis (Aus) GreenEDGE Cycling Team
8 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
9 Davide Apolonio (Ita) Sky Procycling
10 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
11 Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank-Sungard
12 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-ISD
13 Stephane Poulhies (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
14 Jose Luis Cano (Esp) Andalucia
15 Aitor Galdos (Esp) Caja Rural
16 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le credit en ligne
17 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R la Mondiale
18 Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
19 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
20 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
21 Steve Moravito (Sui) BMC Racing Team
22 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
23 Daryl Impey (RSA) GreenEDGE Cycling Team
24 Timofey Kritskiy (Rus) Katusha Team
25 Andre Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
26 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) GreenEDGE Cycling Team
27 Sebastien Minard (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
28 Timothy Duggan (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale
29 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha Team
30 Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Rabobank
31 Jordi Simon (Esp) Andalucia
32 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ -Big Mat
33 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
34 Christian Meier (Can) GreenEDGE Cycling Team
35 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Barracuda
36 Martin Kohler (Sui) BMC Racing Team
37 Ivan Velasco (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
38 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ -Big Mat
39 Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Barracuda
40 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team
41 Jesus Rosendo (Esp) Andalucia
42 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
43 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling
44 Adrian Palomares (Esp) Andalucia
45 Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
46 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Project 1t4i
47 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
48 Miguel Minguez (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
49 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
50 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar
51 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le credit en ligne
52 Amets Txurruka (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
53 Bruno Pires (Por) Saxo Bank-Sungard
54 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Radioshack-Nissan
55 Thomas Rohregger (Aut) Radioshack-Nissan
56 Luis Angel Mate (Esp) Cofidis, Le credit en ligne
57 Yuriy Trofimov (Rus) Katusha Team
58 Tom Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Barracuda
59 Gustavo Cesar (Esp) Andalucia
60 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
61 Oliver Zaugg (Sui) Radioshack-Nissan
62 Mathias Frank (Sui) BMC Racing Team
63 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha Team
64 Samuel Sanchez (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
65 Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack-Nissan
66 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
67 Daniel Teklehaymanot (Eri) GreenEDGE Cycling Team
68 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
69 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD
70 Jose Vte. Toribio (Esp) Andalucia
71 David Arroyo (Esp) Movistar
72 Alex Howes (USA) Team Garmin-Barracuda
73 Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
74 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank
75 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DMC
76 Sergio Pardilla (Esp) Movistar
77 Remy Di Gregorio (Fra) Cofidis, Le credit en ligne
78 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
79 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank
80 Kastantsin Sivtsov (Blr) Sky Procycling
81 Jorge Azanza (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
82 Cidric Pineau (Fra) FDJ -Big Mat
83 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DMC
84 Marcos Garcia (Esp) Caja Rural
85 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team
86 Mattew Busche (USA) Radioshack-Nissan
87 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
88 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
89 Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha Team
90 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
91 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team
92 Paolo Longo (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
93 Fracis De Greef (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
94 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank
95 Morris Possoni (Ita) Lampre-ISD
96 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
97 Christian Vandevelde (USA) Team Garmin-Barracuda
98 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
99 Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
100 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
101 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DMC
102 Julien Simon (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
103 Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
104 Andy Schleck (Lux) Radioshack-Nissan
105 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
106 Cristiano Salermo (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
107 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
108 Huguet Yann (Fra) Project 1t4i
109 Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
110 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar
111 Steven Kruyswyk (Ned) Rabobank
112 David De La Cruz (Esp) Caja Rural
113 Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
114 Brice Feillu (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
115 Stefan Denilf (Aut) Vacansoleil-DMC
116 Alberto Losada (Esp) Katusha Team
117 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ -Big Mat
118 Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan
119 Johann Tschopp (Sui) BMC Racing Team
120 Sergio Carrasco (Esp) Andalucia
121 Chris Anker Soerensen (Den) Saxo Bank-Sungard
122 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
123 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Lampre-ISD
124 Daniel Navarro (Esp) Saxo Bank-Sungard
125 Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo Bank-Sungard
126 Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DMC
127 Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Barracuda
128 Antonio Piedra (Esp) Caja Rural
129 Jeremy Roy (Fra) FDJ -Big Mat
130 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Project 1t4i
131 Javier Fco. Aramendia (Esp) Caja Rural
132 Laurent Didier (Lux) Radioshack-Nissan
133 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team
134 Benjamin Noval (Esp) Saxo Bank-Sungard
135 Xabier Zandio (Esp) Sky Procycling
136 Mikel Nieve (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
137 Javier Ramirez (Esp) Andalucia
138 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ -Big Mat
139 Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank
140 David De La Fuente (Esp) Caja Rural
141 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DMC
142 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar
143 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre-ISD
144 Tom Peterson (USA) Team Garmin-Barracuda
145 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
146 Branislau Samolau (Blr) Movistar
147 Jesus Hernandez (Esp) Saxo Bank-Sungard
148 Julian Dean (NZl) GreenEDGE Cycling Team
149 Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank-Sungard
150 Amir Zargari (Iri) AG2R la Mondiale
151 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ -Big Mat
152 Mehdi Sohrabi (Iri) Lotto-Belisol
153 Egor Silin (Rus) Astana Pro Team
154 Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Project 1t4i
155 Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi
156 Jacek Morajko (Pol) Vacansoleil-DMC
157 Javier Moreno (Esp) Movistar
158 Yohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Le credit en ligne
159 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
160 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Project 1t4i
161 Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Project 1t4i
162 Sergey Renev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
163 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-ISD
164 Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) Lampre-ISD
165 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling
166 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
167 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le credit en ligne
168 Cyril Bessy (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
169 Brett Lancaster (Aus) GreenEDGE Cycling Team
170 Fracis Mourey (Fra) FDJ -Big Mat
171 Juan Horrach (Esp) Katusha Team all s.t.
172 Victor Cabedo (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2:10
173 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank 5:22
174 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
175 Sebastien Rosseler (Bel) Team Garmin-Barracuda
176 Julian Sanchez (Esp) Caja Rural all s.t.


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