Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Steady start in Beijing

Tipped by some as the man most likely to win the Tour of Beijing overall, Samuel Sánchez got off to a decent start on Tuesday's opener.

The 117km leg from the Tiananmen Square to the iconic Bird's Nest stadium was an altogether uninspiring and straightforward stage, as the sprinters teams exerted their prowess from the off and set it up for the anticipated dash for the line. Liquigas' Elia Viviani emerged victorious, but of more importance (from an Euskaltel point of view that is) was the fact that the pack split up somewhat on the run-in. 58 riders made it into the main group, among them the Euskaltel leader and loyal domestique Iván Velasco. The nine seconds Samu got on some of his adversaries are not likely to be all that important when the overall is to be decided, but at least he's on the front foot for once in a stage race.

Euskaltel's other main GC cards, Antón, Nieve and Verdugo, all came in with the second group.

Results stage 1 (full results here):
  • (1, Eli Viviani (Liquigas), 2:37:49)
  • 30, Iván Velasco, s.t.
  • 55, Samuel Sánchez, s.t.
  • 62, Mikel Nieve, 0:09
  • 66, Igor Antón, s.t.
  • 67, Gorka Verdugo, s.t.
  • 102, Peio Bilbao, s.t.
  • 132, Mikel Landa, 0:57
  • 142, Miguel Mínguez, 1:44
Photo: Deia

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