Pardilla gives Carmiooro a surprise win in Ruta del Sol
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pardilla gives Carmiooro a surprise win in Ruta del Sol

by Bjorn Haake at 11:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Sergio Pardilla surprised everyone in the first stage of the Vuelta a Andalucía-Ruta del Sol. The Colombian  slipped away in the final phase of the race, marked by lots of attacks, and won with seven seconds over Jurgen Van den Broeck and with 13 seconds over Damiano Cunego, atop the Puerto De Las Allanadas, in an altitude of 1,000m.

After the main break of the day was caught with eight kilometers remaining, the bunch had no quiet moment. Pardilla was the one who launched the decisive attack with 2.5 kilometers remaining on the difficult final climb.

A group of ten was chasing, but Van den Broeck only managed to get within seven seconds. Cunego came up short as well, but nonetheless was pleased with his result.

"It is not bad to get third place in the second race if the season, in a stage race with a mountain top finish that was five kilometers long and with a maximum gradient of 20 percent," Cunego said.

"I really wanted to test myself on such a difficult climb as is the Puerto de las Allandas. This early in the season, there is always a bit of unknown about your racing form. I received important signals that I am on the right way to get good form. I was also well supported by the team, so our day's summary is certainly positive."

Cunego tried to shake other riders that were with him but when he couldn't he saved his energy for one final attack with 500m to go. His director, Brent Copeland explained that Cunego chose the right tactics with a late attack. He was also pleased with the team.

"I'm satisfied for what Damiano and the whole team showed in this stage, that was even tougher than what we thought because of the rain and the bad roads conditions: at the end of the race, it was like the cyclists had just ended Paris-Roubaix."

A tough and wet day

The final climb may have come as a surprise to some. "The last three kilometers with a gradient between 16 and 20 percent were very hard, but I feel good climbing again," said Milram's Markus Fothen.

The German also didn't enjoy the weather too much.   "We have never been so dirty as today.  It rained very hard at times, which made the stage that much harder.  On the final climb we were at the front and did a lot of the lead work.  Linus [Gerdemann] was especially unfortunate.  Without his crash he surely  would have been in the Top Ten."

Gerdemann crashed with about one kilometer to go, but still managed to come home in 14th. "That was a very unlucky crash for me," Gerdemann said.  "I was in a promising position and felt pretty good.   But I won't worry about it and will try to do my best again in the coming days."

A long break

Jesus Prado Rosendo (Andalucía-CajaSur), Laurent Beuret (Carmiooro) and Stéphane Rosetto (Vacansoleil) were the first to escape after five kilometers. They were later joined by Egoitz García (Caja Rural). García was trying to come up with Piet Rooijakkers (Skil-Shimano), but the Dutchman was unable to hold the pace and dropped back to the peloton.

The quartet on the front quickly augmented the lead and had a maximum gap of eight minutes after 35km raced. Over the Alto de Arjonilla (cat 3), the order was Beuret ahead of García and Rosendo.

The work by Cavendish's Columbia team started to eat into the gap, though, and after 100km it was down to 3'30. Sky and Milram now helped Columbia at the front. The break was finally neutralized with eight kilometers remaining.

Results stage 1

1. Sergio Pardilla (Carmiooro-NGC) 4h11'55
2. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega-Pharma-Lotto) at 7
3. Damiano Cunego (Lampre) 13
4. Manuel Vázquez (Andalucía-CajaSur) s.t.
5. Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) 21
6. Michael Rogers (Columbia) s.t.
7. Javi Moreno (Andalucía-CajaSur) 28
8. Dani Moreno (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 29
9. Jelle Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
10. Thomas Lovkvist (Sky) 31
11. Christian Knees (Milram) 32
12. Maxime Monfort (Columbia) 37
13. Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) 41
14. Linus Gerdemann (Milram) s.t.
15. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) s.t.


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