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ONCE edges Postal in Vuelta opener

By VeloNews.com • Published

By VeloNews Interactive wire services

ONCE shows Spain how a team time trial is done

ONCE shows Spain how a team time trial is done

Photo: Graham Watson

Despite losing two riders early on, ONCE-Eroski lived up to its role of overwhelming favorite in the opening team time trial event in the Vuelta a España on Saturday.

It was a repeat of the Spanish squad’s 2002 victory in the same stage over American squad U.S. Postal-Berry Floor.

ONCE-Eroski clocked 32 minutes, 1 second for the 28km course starting and finishing in Gijon, 10 seconds faster than Postal and 24 seconds ahead of third-placed Ibanesto.com.

Postal finished 10 seconds down

Postal finished 10 seconds down

Photo: Graham Watson

Spaniard Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, 29, crossed the line at the head of the ONCE-Eroski team to take the first gold leader’s jersey of the race. He last wore it when he won the prologue in Murcia in 1999, the year he went on to finish second overall.

“This is a battle, not the war we have won today,” said Gonzalez de Galdeano. “But it is a great start. We may not have as good time trialists on an individual level as other squads, but winning a team time trial is a question of a group effort, and we showed today we are the strongest for that.”

ONCE-Eroski suffered a blow when German Jorg Jaksche and Spaniard Mikel Pradera lost contact with their seven teammates on the opening third-category climb.

“It was an explosive start and they simply couldn’t handle the pace,” said Gonzalez de Galdeano.

Fastest on the climb by three seconds over Ibanesto.com, Gonzalez de Galdeano and Czech specialist Jan Hruska maintained the pace, keeping U.S. Postal 16 seconds behind at the second checkpoint at 14 km.

On the final run through the streets of Gijon, US Postal’s superiority of numbers enabled them to close the gap to 10 seconds, but a long burst by Gonzalez de Galdeano gave the Spaniards their third TTT victory in Vuelta history.

Spaniard Aitor Gonzalez, last year’s winner, had a bad first day, suffering a puncture with 1.2km to go and losing 1:25 to Gonzalez de Galdeano’s squad after his Fassa Bortolo team was forced to wait for him.

“It is a pity, this blow of bad luck, but the race is still long and there is much road in front of us,” Gonzalez said. “I felt well today, and in the hour of truth, I hope to be present.”

The Relax-Fuenlabrada team was even less fortunate, crashing on the descent of a category-3 hill just 7km after the start. Team leader Santi Blanco, along with Nacor Burgos and José Manuel Maestre, were the most seriously affected, but were able to finish the stage.

Blanco, who fractured his left cheekbone in the crash, is expected to start Sunday. Burgos and Maestre suffered bruises but no fractures and also should be able to start stage two, a 148km run between Gijon and Cangas de Onis that is sure to be a day for the sprinters.

One sprinter who will not be in contention is Italian Ivan Quaranta (Saeco), who abandoned the Vuelta after just 3km, on the category-3 climb that was the only difficulty on today’s stage. World champion Mario Cipollini, however, managed to finish with his Domina Vacanze squad – albeit more than three minutes down. – Reuters and AFP contributed to this report

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Results

1. ONCE – Eroski, 32:01

2. U.S. Postal Service, at 0:10

3. iBanesto.com, at 0:24

4. Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 45

5. Quick Step-Davitamon, at 0:48

6. Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:50

7. Cofidis, at 0:56

8. Bianchi 1:01

9. Lampre 1:03

10. Phonak 1:04

11. Rabobank 1:18

12. Paternina – Costa de Almeria, at 1:20

13 Fassa Bortolo, at 1:25

14. Telekom 1:26

15. Alessio 1:26

16. CSC 1:27

17. Domina Vacanze 1:28

18. Milaneza – MSS 1:30

19. Saeco 1:39

20. Sidermec Vini Caldirola 2:04

21. Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, at 2:30

22. Labarca-2 Cafe Baque, at 3:06
Overall individual standings, after Stage 1
1. Igor Glez. Galdeano (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, 32:01

2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), ONCE – Eroski

3. Jan Hruska (Cz), ONCE – Eroski

4. Angel Vicioso (Sp), ONCE – Eroski

5. Isidro Nozal (Sp), ONCE – Eroski

6. José Azevedo (P), ONCE – Eroski

7. Marcos Serrano (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, all s.t.

8. José Luis Rubiera (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:10

9. Max Van Heeswijk (Nl), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:10

10. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:10

11. Roberto Heras (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:10

12. Benoit Joachim (Lux), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:10

13. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:10

14. Michael Barry (CAN), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:10

15. George Hincapie (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:10

16. Matthew White (Aus), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:10

17. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 0:24

18. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 0:24

19. Leonardo Piepoli (I), iBanesto.com, at 0:24

20. Pablo Lastras (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 0:24

21. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 0:24

22. Unai Osa (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 0:24

23. Juan Miguel Mercado (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 0:24

24. Aitor Osa (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 0:24

25. José Garcia Acosta (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 0:24

26. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 0:45

27. David Latasa (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 0:45

28. Francisco Cabello (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 0:45

29. Oscar Sevilla (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 0:45

30. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 0:45

31. José Gutierrez (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 0:45

32. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 0:45

33. Antonio Tauler (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, at 0:45

34. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 0:48

35. Frank Vandenbroucke (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 0:48

36. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 0:48

37. Patrick Sinkewitz (G), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 0:48

38. Kurt Van De Wouwer (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 0:48

39. Richard Virenque (F), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 0:48

40. David CaÑada (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 0:48

41. Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 0:48

42. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 0:48

43. Alberto Martinez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:50

44. Gorka Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:50

45. Unai Etxebarria (Vz), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:50

46. David Etxebarria (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:50

47. Iñaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:50

48. Gorka Arrizabalaga (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:50

49. Iker Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:50

50. Gorka Gerrikagoitia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:50

51. Roberto Laiseka (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:50

52. Iñigo Cuesta (Sp), Cofidis, at 0:56

53. Guido Trentin (I), Cofidis, at 0:56

54. David Millar (GB), Cofidis, at 0:56

55. Dmitri Fofonov (Kaz), Cofidis, at 0:56

56. Peter Farazjin (B), Cofidis, at 0:56

57. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, at 0:56

58. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis, at 0:56

59. Angelo Lopeboselli (I), Cofidis, at 0:56

60. Thorsten Rund (G), Bianchi, 1:01

61. Angel Casero (Sp), Bianchi, 1:01

62. Raphael Schweda (G), Bianchi, 1:01

63. Félix Garcia Casas (Sp), Bianchi, 1:01

64. Fabrizio Guidi (I), Bianchi, 1:01

65. Francisco José Lara (Sp), Bianchi, 1:01

66. David Plaza (Sp), Bianchi, 1:01

67. Jaime Hernandez (Sp), Bianchi, 1:01

68. Aitor Garmendia (Sp), Bianchi, 1:01

69. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Lampre, 1:03

70. Francisco Vila (Sp), Lampre, 1:03

71. Mariano Piccoli (I), Lampre, 1:03

72. Wladimir Belli (I), Lampre, 1:03

73. Jan Svorada (Cz), Lampre, 1:03

74. Alessandro Cortinovis (I), Lampre, 1:03

75. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Lampre, 1:03

76. Simone Bertoletti (I), Lampre, 1:03

77. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Cofidis, 1:04

78. Oscar Pereiro (Sp), Phonak, 1:04

79. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Phonak, 1:04

80. Cyril Dessel (F), Phonak, 1:04

81. Alex Zuelle (Swi), Phonak, 1:04

82. Bert Grabsch (G), Phonak, 1:04

83. Santiago Perez (Sp), Phonak, 1:04

84. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Sp), Phonak, 1:04

85. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre, 1:13

86. Beat Zberg (Swi), Rabobank, 1:18

87. Addy Engels (Nl), Rabobank, 1:18

88. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, 1:18

89. Levy Leipheimer (USA), Rabobank, 1:18

90. Steven De Jongh (Nl), Rabobank, 1:18

91. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank, 1:18

92. Ronald Mutsaars (Nl), Rabobank, 1:18

93. Carlos Torrent (Sp), Paternina, 1:20

94. Carlos Golbano (Sp), Paternina, 1:20

95. Joaquin Lopez (Sp), Paternina, 1:20

96. José Luis Martinez (Sp), Paternina, 1:20

97. Pedro Diaz Lobato (Sp), Paternina, 1:20

98. Rafael Casero (Sp), Paternina, 1:20

99. Domingo Sanchez (Sp), Paternina, 1:20

100. Jorge Ferrio (Sp), Paternina, 1:20

101. Serguei Ivanov (Rus), Fassa Bortolo, 1:25

102. Dario Frigo (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:25

103. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 1:25

104. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo, 1:25

105. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:25

106. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Fassa Bortolo, 1:25

107. Torsten Hiekmann (G), Telekom, 1:26

108. Erik Zabel (G), Telekom, 1:26

109. Cadel Evans (Aus), Telekom, 1:26

110. Christian Werner (G), Telekom, 1:26

111. Bobby Julich (USA), Telekom, 1:26

112. Angelo Furlan (I), Alessio, 1:26

113. Denis Lunghi (I), Alessio, 1:26

114. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Alessio, 1:26

115. Alessandro Bertolini (I), Alessio, 1:26

116. Stefano Casagranda (I), Alessio, 1:26

117. Davide Frattini (I), Alessio, 1:26

118. Cristian Moreni (I), Alessio, 1:26

119. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 1:27

120. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC, 1:27

121. Bekim Christensen (Dk), CSC, 1:27

122. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 1:27

123. Manuel Calvente (Sp), CSC, 1:27

124. Michael Sandstod (Dk), CSC, 1:27

125. Peter Luttenberger (A), CSC, 1:27

126. Mario Aerts (B), Telekom, 1:28

127. Pedro Cardoso (P), Milaneza – MSS, 1:30

128. Angel Edo (Sp), Milaneza – MSS, 1:30

129. Renato Silva (P), Milaneza – MSS, 1:30

130. Fabian Jeker (Swi), Milaneza – MSS, 1:30

131. Klaus MÖller (Dk), Milaneza – MSS, 1:30

132. Joan Horrach (Sp), Milaneza – MSS, 1:30

133. Txema Del Olmo (Sp), Milaneza – MSS, 1:30

134. Paulo Barroso (P), Milaneza – MSS, 1:30

135. Gonçalo Amorim (P), Milaneza – MSS, 1:30

136. Niki Aebersold (Swi), Phonak, 1:31

137. Stephan Schreck (G), Telekom, 1:32

138. Julian Dean (NZl), CSC, 1:37

139. Juan Fuentes (Sp), Saeco, 1:39

140. Gerrit Glomser (A), Saeco, 1:39

141. Christian Pepoli (I), Saeco, 1:39

142. Antonio Bucciero (I), Saeco, 1:39

143. Igor Astarloa (Sp), Saeco, 1:39

144. Giosue Bonomi (I), Saeco, 1:39

145. Matteo Tosatto (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:50

146. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank, 1:53

147. Mario Cipollini (I), Domina Vacanze – Elitron, 2:01

148. Michele Scarponi (I), Domina Vacanze – Elitron, 2:01

149. Santos Gonzalez (Sp), Domina Vacanze – Elitron, 2:01

150. Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Sp), Domina Vacanze – Elitron, 2:01

151. Gianpaolo Mondini (I), Domina Vacanze – Elitron, 2:01

152. Kyryl Pospyeyev (Ukr), Domina Vacanze – Elitron, 2:01

153. Filippo Simeoni (I), Domina Vacanze – Elitron, 2:01

154. Giovanni Lombardi (I), Domina Vacanze – Elitron, 2:01

155. Francesco Secchiari (I), Domina Vacanze – Elitron, 2:01

156. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 2:04

157. Massimo Apollonio (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 2:04

158. Gianluca Sironi (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 2:04

159. Oscar Mason (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 2:04

160. Simone Masciarelli (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 2:04

161. David De La Fuente (Sp), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 2:04

162. Giampaolo Cheula (I), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 2:04

163. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 2:04

164. Alberto Vinale (I), Alessio, 2:05

165. Igor Pugaci (MDA), Saeco, 2:06

166. Pietro Zucconi (Swi), Sidermec Vini Caldirola, 2:23

167. Benjamín Noval (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, 2:30

168. José Jufre (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, 2:30

169. Oscar Laguna (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, 2:30

170. David Navas (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, 2:30

171. Jose Luis Rebollo (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, 2:30

172. Andrea Brognara (I), Alessio, 3:03

173. Cesar Garcia Calvo (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe Baque, 3:06

174. Francisco Gutierrez (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe Baque, 3:06

175. Felix Cardenas (Col), Labarca-2 Cafe Baque, 3:06

176. Ivan Herrero (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe Baque, 3:06

177. Gustavo Otero (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe Baque, 3:06

178. David Lopez (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe Baque, 3:06

179. Francisco Cerezo (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe Baque, 3:06

180. José Javier Gomez Gozalo (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe Baque, 3:06

181. Steffan Wesemann (G), Telekom, 3:12

182. Jörg Jaksche (G), ONCE – Eroski, 4:30

183. Mikel Pradera (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, 4:30

184. Karsten Kroon (Nl), Rabobank, 5:25

185. Juan José De Los Angeles (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 5:29

186. Sergio Perez (Sp), Labarca-2 Cafe Baque, 5:40

187. Jesus Maria Manzano (Sp), Kelme – Costa Blanca, 5:42

188. Thomas Bruun (Dk), CSC, 6:05

189. J.antonio Pecharroman (Sp), Paternina, 6:08

190. Guido Trenti (USA), Fassa Bortolo, 6:27

191. Germán Nieto (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, 6:37

192. Nacor Burgos (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, 6:37

193. Santiago Blanco (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, 6:37

194. Gonzalo Bayarri (Sp), Phonak, 7:03

195. Jan Schaffrath (G), Telekom, 7:31

196. José Maestre (Sp), Colchon Relax – Fuenlabrada, 7:38

197. Nicola Gavazzi (I), Saeco, 11:11

Climber’s Points, after Stage 1
1. Jan Hruska (Cz), ONCE – Eroski, 6 Pts.

2. Mikel Pradera (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, 4 Pts.

3. Joaquin Rodriguez (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, 2 Pts.

4. Igor Glez. Galdeano (Sp), ONCE – Eroski, 1 Pts.

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