Loïc Chetout took his biggest win to date by sprinting to glory on the Vuelta al Bidasoa's first stage.
The stage-race's opening leg from and to Irún, Juan Manuel Garate´s birthplace in the region of Gipúzkoa, saw several threatening moves go off, the last of which, featuring Ibaigane Opel's Eddy Valdespino and Alejandro Arribas of Gomur, was reeled in just in time for the teams to get their sprinters in position.
Naturgas Energía's Frenchman proved unbeatable from an eight-man group that formed in the finale, besting Debabarrena's Davide Martinelli, the 19-year-old son of Astana sport director Giuseppe, and 22-year-old Basque Paul Usabel of Cafés Baqué.
The majority of the overall favourites came in nine seconds down, including the likes of Grijalba, Salas, Álvarado, Ramírez, Zhuravlev and Molina.
Results (full results here):
- Loïc Chetout (Naturgas Energía), 2:45:57
- Davide Martinelle (Debabarrena), s.t.
- Paul Usabel (Cafés Baqué-Conservas Campos), s.t.
- Rafael Márquez (Lizarte), s.t.
- Imanol Estévez (Naturgas Energía), s.t.
- Javier García (Coluer), s.t.
- Marcos Altur (GSport-Valencia Terra i Mar), s.t.
- Ibai Daboz (Gipuzkoa-Eki Sport), s.t.
- Mario González (Cafés Baqué), 0:03
- Carlos Jiménez (Caja Rural), 0:09