Vuelta a Burgos: Simone Ponzi takes uphill opener at Mirador del Castillo
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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Vuelta a Burgos: Simone Ponzi takes uphill opener at Mirador del Castillo

by Ben Atkins at 12:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Italian wins hilltop sprint to take first leader’s jersey

vuelta a burgosSimone Ponzi (Astana) won the opening stage of the 2013 Vuelta a Burgos, between Burgos and Mirador del Castillo, as he was fastest in the uphill sprint to the line. The 26-year-old Italian managed to come around compatriot Daniele Ratto (Cannondale) in the final hundred metres of the 139km stage, to take his biggest victory of the season and the first leader’s jersey of the five-day race.

Sergei Chernetski (Katusha) beat Anthony Roux (FDJ.fr) into third place as the last riders to finish inside the same time as the stage winner.

"Without [teammate] Vincenzo [Nibali] I wouldn't have won today, it's that simple,” said Ponzi. “He did so much work in the last kilometres of the race to set a high pace and keep the speed up, and when it was time for me to sprint I had good legs and a lot of energy to pass the riders in front of me and attack for the win.

"When group went onto the final climb I was at the front with a few riders in front of me,” he added. “I know I passed them, but I don't know how many. When you are focussed like that at the end of a race all you see is light and shadow, not faces. I'm very glad I won, and a big thanks to Nibali.”

The stage saw a six-man breakaway from Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky), Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge), Jorge Azanza (EUskaltel-Euskadi), Paolo Tiralongo (Astana), Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Illart Zuazubiskar (Euskadi), who escaped at the second time of asking after 15km.

With Movistar controlling the peloton, the group was only able to get a maximum of 2’50” ahead, over the top of the 3rd category Alto de los Buitres after 41km. The peloton briefly split in two as the Spanish team continued to chase, but was back together in one big bunch as it approached the halfway point of the stage.

With several attempted counterattacks from the front of the peloton, the break’s advantage shrank steadily until, with 25km to go, the sextet had just 35 seconds. As the gap closed further, Meier jumped away alone with 14km to go, but was pulled back with the rest of the group a kilometre later as FDJ.fr joined Movistar on the head of the peloton.

FDJ.fr strung out the peloton up the final slopes of the climb to the finish line to start the eight kilometre finishing loop, and Anthony Geslin then attacked with six kilometres to go. The Frenchman was joined by José Herrada (Movistar), but the new dup was chased down by Euskaltel-Euskadi before they could start the final climb to the finish.

There were several more attempts to escape, including one from Robinson Chalapud (Colombia), but the head of the peloton was all together as it approached the final ramps. Ratto tried to jump away in the final corners, but he was followed by Ponzi, Chernetski and Roux, with Ponzi sprinting past him as the line approached.

Result stage 1
1. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
2. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
3. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha Team
4. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr
5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky Procycling @ 3s
6. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
7. Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr @ 4s
8. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
9. Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale @ 6s
10. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale @ 7s

Standings after stage 1
1. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
2. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
3. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha Team
4. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr
5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky Procycling @ 3s
6. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
7. Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr @ 4s
8. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
9. Mickaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale @ 6s
10. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale @ 7s

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