Vuelta a Andalucia: Hivert gets stage one ahead of Valverde
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Vuelta a Andalucia: Hivert gets stage one ahead of Valverde

by Kyle Moore at 9:11 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
French rider wins sprint out of select group, Valverde maintains overall lead

Jonathan HivertShowing scintillating early season form, Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) sprinted to victory in stage one of the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta del Sol on Monday. Hivert was quicker than fast finishers Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Bauke Mollema (Blanco), who were second and third in Ubrique.

Hivert won the bunch sprint out of a group of 21 riders, many of them favourites for the overall victory, that got away on a climb leading toward the finish of the stage.

Hivert has already taken the overall victory in Etoile de Bessèges at the beginning of February, and now has the first road stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia on his account as well. The stage victory sees Hivert now in 8th place overall, 25 seconds behind Valverde, who took the prologue on Sunday and maintained his overall lead with Monday’s second place finish.

Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) finished with the lead group on stage one and holds second place overall, seven seconds in arrears of Valverde. Mollema sits third, at eleven seconds.

Hivert indicated that it was tough to survive the three rated climbs of the day to hang in with the front split, but having done that, the Frenchman had the best sprinting legs of the bunch.

“On the climb with 50 kilometres to race, I was not in a good way,” Hivert stated afterward. “I was cracking, but I saw that in the group, no one looked much better. I gritted my teeth and counted down the kilometres to the top. Finally, I made it over with the best, and from there I only had to manage to the finish. We had identified the finale. I knew there was a small rise at 400 meters to go.

“I found myself alone with 300 meters left, and I had no choice after that, I had to go! In theory, I won the sprint, but it was mostly a matter of courage and strength. I just had the legs to finish the job.”

Preben Van Hecke (Topsport-Vlaanderen-Baloise), Josue Moyano (Caja Rural), Sven Jodts (Colba-Superano Ham), and Luis Mas (Burgos BH-Castilla y Leon) were the feature breakaway of the day, building a lead of over four minutes. Van Hecke later went away alone, but he was denied by the main bunch.

Along with keeping the overall leader’s jersey, Valverde also has a sizeable advantage in the points competition, with 45 points to Hivert’s 25. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) leads the best young rider competition, and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) took the green polka dot jersey, giving Movistar three of the four available.

Vuelta a Andalucia – Ruta del Sol Stage 1 Brief Results:

1 Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) in 4:06:36
2 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
3 Bauke Mollema (Blanco)
4 Simone Ponzi (Astana) at 3s
5 Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat Polkowice)
6 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol)
7 Sander Armee (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)
8 Robert Gesink (Blanco)
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) at 7s
10 Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi)

General Classification after Stage 1:

1 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in 4:13:22
2 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) at 7s
3 Bauke Mollema (Blanco) at 11s
4 Simon Spilak (Katusha) at 12s
5 Bart De Clercq (Lotto Belisol) at 17s
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) at 19s
7 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) at 24s
8 Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) at 25s
9 Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) at 29s
10 Sander Armee (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) at 30s

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