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Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2016 Stage 1

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photo credits @ Astana

Astana’s Luís León Sánchez claimed the opening stage of today’s Vuelta al Pais Vasco, after bridging his way to Daniel Navarro, during the final decent, to challenge his fellow Spaniard in a thrilling two-man sprint.

The Finale 

One after the other, both Navarro and Sanchez managed to ride clear of the peloton during the final kilometers of today’s race.

First, Navarro succeeded in riding clear with a bold attack during the day’s final climb between Etxebarria and Markina-Xemein.

However, relying upon his excellent descending skills, Sanchez managed to catch the Cofidis rider along the twisting descent. 

From there, the duo went on to open up a slight gap over the peloton, as they approached the flat run-in to the finish.  

Despite leading out the sprint, Sanchez proved he had enough power to hold-off his rival in a final dash for the line, to seize the first leader’s jersey of this year’s Vuelta. 

Earlier Race Details

The start of today’s stage, was animated by a small breakaway group containing Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling), Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis).

At one point, the trio succeeded in building up a moderate advantage over the peloton.  

However, with just 35 kilometers remaining, Wyss became detached from his escape companions, while the remaining duo tackled the penultimate climb of Izua, while the peloton trailed at half a minute behind. 

There was a brief lull in peloton, which prompted Astana’s Dario Cataldo to attack, quickly bridging his way up a fading Edet, who was much in need of a wheel to latch onto.  

However, it became clear that Cataldo had no interest is carrying along passengers, and quickly jettisoned the Cofidis rider.  

Back in the peloton, there were a flurry of both attacks and counter-attacking from the likes of riders such Philip Deignan (Team Sky) and Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL Jumbo), but to no avail. 

Just shy of the summit however, both Contador and Quintana made their presence known, but neither rider accomplished much, as their aggressions were short lived. 

The ever-increasing pace of the peloton, served to both shut down Cataldo’s efforts, as well as reel in what remained of the day’s breakaway group. 

From there, Navarro made his move with a final attack just before the summit of the final climb.

But, just as the Spanish rider appeared to be creating a gap for himself, Sanchez made up for lost ground along the descent, and caught his fellow countryman on the run into Markina-Xemein.  

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Stage 1 Results
ESP 1 SANCHEZ GIL, Luis Leon (ASTANA) 3:54:21
ESP 2 NAVARRO GARCIA, Daniel (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
AUS 3 GERRANS, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE)
ITA 4 FELLINE, Fabio (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
AUS 5 CLARKE, Simon (CANNONDALE)
BEL 6 BAKELANTS, Jan (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
IRL 7 MARTIN, Daniel (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
FRA 8 BARGUIL, Warren (GIANT – ALPECIN)
FRA 9 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL)
RUS 10 CHERNETSKI, Sergei (KATUSHA)

General Classification after Stage 1
ESP 1 SANCHEZ GIL, Luis Leon (ASTANA) 3:54:21
ESP 2 NAVARRO GARCIA, Daniel (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
AUS 3 GERRANS, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE)
ITA 4 FELLINE, Fabio (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
AUS 5 CLARKE, Simon (CANNONDALE)
BEL 6 BAKELANTS, Jan (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
IRL 7 MARTIN, Daniel (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
FRA 8 BARGUIL, Warren (GIANT – ALPECIN)
FRA 9 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL)
RUS 10 CHERNETSKI, Sergei (KATUSHA)

route-map

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