Voss pips Leipheimer in Catalunya opener
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Voss pips Leipheimer in Catalunya opener

by Ben Atkins at 11:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Volta a Catalunya

Paul Voss (Milram) scored the biggest win of his career so far by winning the opening 3.6km time trial of the Volta a Catalunya in the seaside resort of Lloret de Mar. The 23-year-old German completed the mostly flat course in a time of 4’57”, beating RadioShack specialists American Levi Leipheimer by a single second and Andreas Klöden by two.

This is welcome news for Germany's only ProTour team as they continue their search for a sponsor to replace Milram in 2011 so the team will be able to continue.

Liquigas neo-pro Kristjan Koren set the early pace; 35th to start, the 23-year-old posted a time of 5’03”. This time was quickly beaten by the even younger Dominik Nerz, still just 20-years-old. 55th rider off, Nerz only just failed to take the best time below the five minutes.

Nerz’ time of 5’01” stood for a long time, with Jan Bakelandts (OmegaPharma-Lotto) pushing it close but failing by fractions of a second. A few riders later, American Craig Lewis came within a second of the young German, but it was not until Klöden, off at number 130 that there was a new leader; the RadioShack time trial specialist knocked two seconds off Nerz’ time, taking the target down to 4’59”.

Quick Step’s Davide Malacarne was the next rider to come close to the lead, but the Italian finished fractionally slower than Bakelants and failed to make the provisional podium. The surprise came three riders later though when Voss blitzed around the course and knocked Klöden off the top. RadioShack captain Leipheimer might have expected to knock Voss off in turn, but the American came up a second short.

Other late starters Nicolas Roche (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) came in close to the young German, but none were able to match his time.

Of the other big names in the race, Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne) came off best in 11th place, just 6 seconds back. Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo), Denis Menchov (Rabobank) and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) finished 23 seconds, 25 seconds and 27 seconds respectively behind Voss.

Result stage 1
1. Paul Voss (Milram)
2. Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) @ 1s
3. Andreas Klöden (RadioShack) @ 2s
4. Domininck Nerz (Milram) @ 4s
5. Jan Bakelants (OmegaPharma-Lotto) @ 4s
6. Davide Malacarne (Quick Step) @ 4s
7. Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) @ 4s
8. Craig Lewis (HTC-Columbia) @ 5s
9. Nicolas Roche (AG2R-La Mondiale) @ 6s
10. Kristjan Koren (Liquigas-Doimo) @ 6s

Standings after stage 1
1. Paul Voss (Milram)
2. Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) @ 1s
3. Andreas Klöden (RadioShack) @ 2s


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