Sanchez wins first stage of Basque tour
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Monday, April 6, 2009

Sanchez wins first stage of Basque tour

by Agence France-Presse at 1:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez, who won Paris-Nice last month, edged out compatriot and Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez on the line in a sprint finish to take the first stage of the Tour of the Basque Country in northern Spain here on Monday.

Leon Sanchez covered the 142.5-kilometre course, which started and ended in Ataun, in three hours, 28 minutes and 43 seconds.

"It's a shame to see the win snatched away from you by half a wheel," said Samuel Sanchez.

Spain's Alberto Contador, who won the event last year, finished 13th but with the same time as the winner.

But another pre-race favorite, Carlos Sastre, finished back in 47th place, one minute, 27 seconds behind Luis Leon Sanchez.

"Every day I feel better," said the Spanish 2008 Tour de France winner before the start of the 49th edition of the Tour of the Basque Country, which ends on Saturday.

Results of the first stage of the Tour of the Basque Country, a 142.5-kilometre ride that started and ended in Ataun on Monday:

Stage and overall standings:

1. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/Caisse d'Epargne), 3hr 28min 43sec
2. Samuel Sanchez (ESP) same time
3. Jerome Pineau (FRA) s.t.
4. Christian Knees (GER) s.t.
5. Alexandr Kolobnev (RUS) s.t.
6. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP)
7. Michael Rogers (AUS) s.t.
8. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) s.t.
9. Dries Devenyns (BEL), s.t.
10. Cadel Evans (AUS) s.t.

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