2012 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco - Stage 1
Movistar sprinter José Joaquín Rojas wins stage 1 at the 2012 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco ahead of Wout Poels and Fabian Wegmann to claim overall lead.
The current Spanish National Road Champion José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar) claimed the first stage of the 2012 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco ahead of Vacansoleil-DCM's Wout Poels and Garmin-Barracuda rider Fabian Wegmann to claim his 1st victory of 2012 and put himself into the first leader's jersey.
On the downhill slanted road towards the finish line it was Rojas who waited till the last moment to begin his sprint. At only 50 meters from the line the Spaniard kicked his sprint into high gear and passed Wout Poels for the stage win.
"I wasn’t expecting to race here because I had suffered a serious crash last week at Gent-Wevelgem, said Rojas in a team statement. "I still have much pain in my back and was really doubtful about taking the start or not. Eventually we decided to come here, especially as a preparation before next week to help Alejandro in the Ardennes, and... see what. When you don’t expect it, you win.
"When we entered the final straight, I saw a small gap on the right side I could barely pass through. I thought: it’s going past it or crashing. I didn’t care about crashing, because we take so much risks on the road that danger comes from everywhere, but everything turned out well. This victory is the fruit of all work I did during the winter; I’m a rider who needs victories, and when you’re always coming close and victories don’t arrive, doubts grow up even more."
The stage was lead for most the day by a two man breakaway of David De La Fuente (Caja Rural) and Davide Mucelli (Utensilnord Named). The duo attacked the peloton on the first climb of the day and quickly built a five minute advantage over the peloton. The gap went neither up or down until Pro Team Astana and Euskaltel-Euskadi put riders at the front of the peloton and began to chase.
As the peloton approached the final kilometer of the race it was the Italian based Liquigas squad who had their team on the front in an attempt to set up their man Daniele Ratto. The Italian rider began his sprint in an attempt for the win, but ran out of steam in the final one hundred meters.
Going in to stage 2 tomorrow Rojas leads the race with Woute Poels and Fabian Wegmann tied on time.
Results (Top 20)
1 Jose Joaquin ROJAS GIL ESP MOV 3:57:44
2 Wouter POELS NED VCD +0
3 Fabian WEGMANN GER GRM +0
4 Daniele RATTO ITA LIQ +0
5 Arthur VICHOT FRA FDJ +0
6 Ryder HESJEDAL CAN GRM +0
7 Gianni MEERSMAN BEL LTB +0
8 Gorka IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI ESP EUS +0
9 Francesco GAVAZZI ITA AST +0
10 Paolo BAILETTI ITA UNA +0
11 Daryl IMPEY RSA GEC +0
12 Luke ROWE GBR SKY +0
13 Angel VICIOSO ARCOS ESP KAT +0
14 Martin VELITS SVK OPQ +0
15 Mauro SANTAMBROGIO ITA BMC +0
16 Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK BEL LTB +0
17 Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ ESP EUS +0
18 Michael MATTHEWS AUS RAB +0
19 Aitor GALDOS ALONSO ESP CJR +0
20 Matteo CARRARA ITA VCD +0