Volta a Catalunya stage one: Albasini drops breakaway companions for solo victory - Road Cycling UK

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Volta a Catalunya stage one: Albasini drops breakaway companions for solo victory

Bradley Wiggins and his Team Sky colleagues made a low key start to the seven stage Volta a Catalunya today, riding a controlled stage won by Michael Albasini (GreenEDGE).

Michael Albasini (GreenEDGE) solos to victory on stage one of the Volta a Catalunya

Albasini’s victory came hard on the heels of teammate Simon Gerrans’ victory in Milan-San Remo on Saturday, then the team’s second major victory of the season after Gerrans’ own triumph in the Tour Down Under.

GreenEDGE also won the opening team time trial at Tirenno-Adriatico.

Albasini’s win came when a sprint for bonus points after just 40km allowed him to open a gap on the field.

He said: “It’s great to get the win. 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 directeur sportif, Neil Stephens, said while the team had several options for the stage, the work done by Albasini and his breakaway companions meant he quickly became the team’s focus.

“There was a lot of attacking early on. 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,” he said.

“The break maintained a nice gap heading into the final climb. 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.”

Team Sky is fielding a six-man squad instead of the maximum eight following the late withdrawals through illness of Danny Pate and Michael Rogers. But Richie Porte, winner of the Volta ao Algarve in February, could be another contender for overall victory from the ranks of the British team.

Sean Yates, Team Sky directeur sportif, said: “We’re only starting with six riders but hopefully the six we have will ride well. It’s unfortunate but Danny was sick and Mick has been sick and didn’t feel it was wise to start off in Catalunya which is a hard race.”

Perhaps more significantly, Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek), runner up for the third time in last year’s Tour De France, will be looking to kick start his season.

Discuss in the forum

Volta a Catalunya stage one

1) Michael Albasini (SWI)- GreenEDGE – 3:20:04
2) Anthony Delaplace (FRA) – Saur-Sojasun +42”
3) Nicolas Edet (FRA)- Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne + 1.14
4) Kenny Robert Van Hummel (NED) Vacansoleil-DCM + 1.32
5) Ben Gastauer (LUX)- AG2R La Mondiale
6) Roger Kluge (GER) – Project 1t4i
7) Allan Davis (AUS) – GreenEDGE
8) Fabio Sabatini (ITA)- Liquigas-Cannondale
9) Davide Appollonio (ITA) – Sky Procycling
10) Francesco Gavazzi (ITA) – Pro Team Astana

General classification

1) Michael Albasini (SWI)- GreenEDGE – 3:20:04
2) Anthony Delaplace (FRA) – Saur-Sojasun +42”
3) Nicolas Edet (FRA)- Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne + 1.14
4) Kenny Robert Van Hummel (NED) Vacansoleil-DCM + 1.32
5) Ben Gastauer (LUX)- AG2R La Mondiale
6) Roger Kluge (GER) – Project 1t4i
7) Allan Davis (AUS) – GreenEDGE
8) Fabio Sabatini (ITA)- Liquigas-Cannondale
9) Davide Appollonio (ITA) – Sky Procycling
10) Francesco Gavazzi (ITA) – Pro Team Astana

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