Manuel Cardoso takes opening Castilla y León stage in bunch sprint
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Manuel Cardoso takes opening Castilla y León stage in bunch sprint

by Ben Atkins at 2:07 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
First win of 2012 for former RadioShack rider as breakaway dominates stage

manuel cardosoManuel Cardoso (Caja Rural) took his, and his team’s, first victory of the season, as he outsprinted the peloton at the end of the opening stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y León. The Portuguese former RadioShack rider was the fastest at the end of the 159.2km loop, which started and finished in the city of Salamanca, beating Enrique Sanz (Movistar) and Francisco Jose Pacheco (Gios Deyser-Leon Kastro) into second and third.

“The whole team was focused on doing their job and my legs have responded,” said Cardoso afterwards, according to esciclismo.com. “I’m very grateful to the team for putting their trust in me. We fought hard, and were able to finish the job.”

Early attacks from Paul Poux (Saur-Sojasun) and Romain Zingle (Cofidis) were unsuccessful, and it was not until the 49km point that Zingle managed to get away, with Alex Wetterhall (Endura Racing), Sergey Shilov (Lokosphinx) and Walter Pedraza (EPM-UNE). After 66km the four riders were 7’30” ahead, which was to be their maximum lead and, as Zingle led the quartet over the 3rd category Puerto Tres Rayas after 98.3km, it was beginning to come down.

At the 113km point, as they passed through the town of Horcajo Medianero, the four leaders’ advantage was down to five minutes and, as the Rabobank, RadioShack-Nissan and Acque & Sapone teams began to increase the pace, it began to shrink even faster.

Not wanting to make the capture too soon however, the peloton eased its pace a little and, with 30km to go, the breakaway still had three minutes. This was calmly chipped away though, and the four were finally captured with just four kilometres remaining.

The sprint was now on and, with Pablo Urtasun in tow, the Euskaltel-Euskadi team took control. Cardoso was biding his time however, and, launching himself with just fifty metres to go, he powered across the line well clear of the rest.

Thanks to a ten-second time bonus on the line, the Portuguese sprinter takes the first leader’s jersey of the race.

Result stage 1
1. Manuel Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
2. Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team
3. Francisco Jose Pacheco (Spa) Gios Deyser-Leon Kastro
4. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
5. Sergio Ribeiro (Por) Efapel-Glassdrive
6. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Andalucía
7. Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
8. Russel Downing (GBr) Endura Racing
9. Anibal Andres Borrajo (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home
10. Jon Aberasturi (Spa) Orbea Continental

Standings after stage 1
1. Manuel Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
2. Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team @ 4s
3. Francisco Jose Pacheco (Spa) Gios Deyser-Leon Kastro @ 6s
4. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & Sapone @ 10s
5. Sergio Ribeiro (Por) Efapel-Glassdrive
6. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Andalucía
7. Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
8. Russel Downing (GBr) Endura Racing
9. Anibal Andres Borrajo (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home
10. Jon Aberasturi (Spa) Orbea Continental

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