Tour of Poland: Moreno Moser jumps clear to take opening stage
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tour of Poland: Moreno Moser jumps clear to take opening stage

by Ben Atkins at 1:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Poland
 
Italian prodigy continues Liquigas-Cannondale domination of WorldTour race

moreno moserMoreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) continued the domination of the Tour of Poland by the green and blue team as he jumped away from a much-reduced peloton to take the opening stage between Karpacz and Jelenia Gora. The 21-year-old nephew of the legendary Francesco Moser managed to stay with the front part of the field, which split on the final climb of Tauron. He crossed the line several lengths clear of Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), with Lars Boom (Rabobank) third.

The stage, which was run over four and a half laps of a 39.2km circuit, was dominated by a five-man breakaway from Jaroslav Marycz (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Bartlomiej Matysiak (Poland), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Orica-GreenEdge), Sylvain Georges (AG2R La Mondiale) and Federico Rocchetti (Utensilnord-Named). The five riders managed to open up a lead of more than nine minutes in the first half of the stage, but were steadily reeled in on the final lap.

Georges was the last of the break to hold out, but he was caught just before the top of the climb by the fracturing peloton. There were late attacks from Christophe Le Mével (Garmin-Sharp) and Alexander Kolobnev (Katusha) in the closing kilometres, but they were both caught in the finishing straight.

“I knew that today’s stage, on a repetitive, climbing circuit and the slight uphill arrival, could be suited to my skills,” said Moser. “On the last lap the group was strong on the climb and the selection started coming out, the breakaway was caught up and the sprinters took off. There were 35-40 riders left in the final sprint and I gave it my all to catch up to Kolobnev, who was ahead, and to keep everyone else behind me, and I did it.”

Time bonuses on the line gave the Italian the first yellow jersey of the race, which was won last year by Liquigas-Cannondale teammate Peter Sagan, and doesn’t rule out emulating the Slovakian champion.

“Tomorrow the longest stage awaits us, but the route shouldn’t be too difficult, so I’m going to try to be calm and with the team we will work for [Elia] Viviani, who is our sprinter,”  he continued. “As far as the classification, it’s still too soon to tell, however on paper I like the route for the Tour de Pologne and it is suited to my skills. In order to win I will have to stay competitive for all seven days of the race.”

A long distance break gets closed down on the climb

Marycz, Matysiak, Teklehaimanot, Georges and Rocchetti escaped in the very first kilometres of the stage, and were allowed to get more than nine minutes ahead by the second lap. At this point it began to rain; it soon passed and gave over to bright sunshine once more, but it was enough to make the technical descent of the climb very slippery.

A crash in the peloton soon afterwards saw Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), and Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas-Cannondale) abandon - Sabatini left the race by ambulance, but x-rays showed that he had sustained no fractures. Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was also among those to come down, but he was able to quickly rejoin the peloton.

Sergio Henao (Team Sky) counterattacked on the third lap and set off to the to bridge to the leaders but, as the quintet crossed the line to start the final lap, he was still 2’52” behind, and barely 30 seconds ahead of the peloton.

BMC Racing and Garmin-Sharp were leading the peloton and steadily closing the gap but, as Movistar came forward, it began to come down much more quickly. With 30km to go, with their lead just 1’50”, Marycz, Teklehaimanot and Georges left the other two behind on the approach to the climb.

Teklehaimanot too was soon dropped, as Astana took control of the peloton; Roman Kreuziger himself was leading the charge and was putting a number of riders under pressure. With just a few kilometres to climb Georges went alone but was caught before the top by a peloton that was reduced to just 36 riders.

Kolobnev attacked on the descent, but was soon caught as numerous small groups began splitting from the front. It was all closed down however, until Le Mével jumped away on his own with just over six kilometres to go.

The Frenchman was caught and passed by another move from Kolobnev inside the final two and a half kilometres, and the Russian looked to have done enough to take the stage. He was fading on the gently uphill finishing straight however, and, as he was about to be caught Moser jumped early from fifth wheel and took the third victory of his debut season.

Result stage 1
1. Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
4. Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin-Sharp (Ger)
5. Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-ISD
6. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan
7. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team
8. Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank
9. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
10. Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

Standings after stage 1
1. Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 4s
3. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank @ 6s
4. Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin-Sharp (Ger)
5. Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-ISD
6. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan
7. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team
8. Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank
9. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
10. Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

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