Brown wins Murcia opener

Graeme Brown (Rabobank) got revenge for losing Sunday’s Clásica de Almería by sprinting to victory Tuesday in the opening stage of the five-day Vuelta a Murcia in Spain. Brown and Rabobank teammate Oscar Freire were upstaged by Juan José Haedo (CSC) on Sunday, but the Aussie sprinter got it right in 197.3km stage from San Pedro del Pinatar to Lorca to snag his second win on the 2008 season.

By Andrew Hood

Graeme Brown at the 2008 Tour Down Under

Graeme Brown at the 2008 Tour Down Under

Photo: Graham Watson

Graeme Brown (Rabobank) got revenge for losing Sunday’s Clásica de Almería by sprinting to victory Tuesday in the opening stage of the five-day Vuelta a Murcia in Spain.

Brown and Rabobank teammate Oscar Freire were upstaged by Juan José Haedo (CSC) on Sunday, but the Aussie sprinter got it right in 197.3km stage from San Pedro del Pinatar to Lorca to snag his second win on the 2008 season.

“We very happy with the win. It’s a nice revenge for Sunday and we didn’t have to wait very long,” said Rabobank manager Frans Maassen. “The course was not as hard as indicated by the course profile, but it was still extremely tricky. Graeme would not have been able to do this two years ago. Now he knows how to ride uphill and he is also a master of riding in (echelons), which was very useful today because of the hard winds.”

Strong winds blasted the peloton in the rolling opening stage. Two riders — Koldo Gil (Andalucía CajaSur) and Alexander Serov (Tinkoff) — attacked early and opened up a gap of 15 minutes, but strong headwinds foiled their chances.

The sprinter teams collaborated to do the heavy lifting to reel in the attacking duo with about 3km to go to set up the mass sprint.

Brown, who won a stage at the Mallorca Challenge in February, out-kicked Koldo Fernández (Euskaltel-Euskadi) while Aitor Pérez (Extremadura) came through third. Haedo slotted in for seventh.

All the major contenders, including two-time winner Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) and Tour de France champ Alberto Contador (Astana), finished safely in the main pack.

Brown will carry leader’s jersey going into Wednesday’s decisive 152km second stage from Calasparra to Totana. The etapa reina includes two Cat. 3s and two Cat. 1 climbs, including the steep Collado Bermejo.

Results

Stage 1
1. BROWN, Graeme (Aus), RABOBANK 5h00’11”
2. FERNÁNDEZ DE LARREA, Koldo (Sp), EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI , s.t.
3. PÉREZ ARRIETA, Aitor (Sp), EXTREMADURA-G. GALLARDO , s.t.
4. TRUSSOV, Nikolay (Rus), TINKOFF-CREDIT SYSTEM , s.t.
5. VENTOSO ALBERDI, Fran (Sp), ANDALUCIA-CAJASUR , s.t.
6. PALUMBO, Giuseppe (I), ACQUA SAPONE-CAFFE MOKAMBO , s.t.
7. HAEDO, Juan José (Arg), TEAM CSC , s.t.
8. IGLINSKIY, Maxim (Kz), ASTANA , s.t.
9. OTXOTORENA, Xabat (Sp), EXTREMADURA-G. GALLARDO , s.t.
10. HERRADA LÓPEZ, José (Sp), CONTENTPOLIS-MURCIA , s.t.
11. DOMÍNGUEZ LEMOS, Gustavo (Sp), KARPIN GALICIA , s.t.
12. CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (Sp), ASTANA , s.t.
13. COYOT, Arnaud (F), CAISSE D’EPARGNE , s.t.
14. QUITEIRO, César (P), LIBERTY SEGUROS , s.t.
15. KIRYENKA, Vasil (Blr), TINKOFF-CREDIT SYSTEM , s.t.
16. ISASI FLORES, Iñaki (Sp), EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI , s.t.
17. URTASUN PÉREZ, Pablo (Sp), LIBERTY SEGUROS , s.t.
18. VÁZQUEZ HUESO, Manuel (Sp), CONTENTPOLIS-MURCIA , s.t.
19. CHUZHDA, Oleg (Ukr), CONTENTPOLIS-MURCIA , s.t.
20. SEROV, Alexander (Rus), TINKOFF-CREDIT SYSTEM , s.t.
21. VALVERDE, Alejandro (Sp), CAISSE D’EPARGNE , s.t.
22. PASAMONTES, Luis (Sp), CAISSE D’EPARGNE , s.t.
23. COLON MAS, Antonio (Sp), ASTANA , s.t.
24. ASTARLOZA CHAURREAU, Mikel (Sp), EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI , s.t.
25. BRU PASCAL, Jon (Sp), EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI , s.t.
26. SARABIA DÍAZ, Ignacio (Mex), EXTREMADURA-G. GALLARDO , s.t.
27. GARZELLI, Stefano (I), ACQUA SAPONE-CAFFE MOKAMBO , s.t.
28. TERUEL, Eloy (Sp), CONTENTPOLIS-MURCIA , s.t.
29. GENTILI, Massimiliano (I), ACQUA SAPONE-CAFFE MOKAMBO , s.t.
30. PETROV, Evgeni (Rus), TINKOFF-CREDIT SYSTEM , s.t.
31. KARPETS, Vladimir (Rus), CAISSE D’EPARGNE , s.t.
32. PÉREZ SÁNCHEZ, Francisco (Sp), CAISSE D’EPARGNE , s.t.
33. MOSQUERA MIGUEZ, Ezequiel (Sp), KARPIN GALICIA , s.t.
34. GARCÍA DAPENA, David (Sp), KARPIN GALICIA , s.t.
35. HERRERO LLORENTE, David (Sp), KARPIN GALICIA , s.t.
36. NOZAL VEGA, Isidro (Sp), LIBERTY SEGUROS , s.t.
37. CODOL, Massimo (I), ACQUA SAPONE-CAFFE MOKAMBO , s.t.
38. AZANZA SOTO, Jorge (Sp), EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI , s.t.
39. SOUSA, Rui (P), LIBERTY SEGUROS , s.t.
40. KLIMOV, Serguei (Rus), TINKOFF-CREDIT SYSTEM , s.t.
41. VAN GOOLEN, Jurgen (B), TEAM CSC , s.t.
42. KHATUNTSEV, Alexander (Rus), TINKOFF-CREDIT SYSTEM , s.t.
43. SALGUEIRO ALONSO, Enrique (Sp), EXTREMADURA-G. GALLARDO , s.t.
44. VELASCO MURILLO, Iván (Sp), EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI , s.t.
45. MAYOZ, Iban (Sp), KARPIN GALICIA , s.t.
46. NOVAL GONZÁLEZ, Benjamín (Sp), ASTANA , s.t.
47. CASTAÑO PANADERO, Carlos (Sp), KARPIN GALICIA , s.t.
48. RUJANO, Jose (Vz), CAISSE D’EPARGNE , s.t.
49. PEDRAZA, Walter (Col), TINKOFF-CREDIT SYSTEM , s.t.
50. SERRANO GONZÁLEZ, Ricardo (Sp), TINKOFF-CREDIT SYSTEM , s.t.
51. RIBEIRO, Nuno (P), LIBERTY SEGUROS , s.t.
52. BLAUDZUN, Michael (Dk), TEAM CSC , s.t.
53. HORRACH RIPPOLL, Joan (Sp), CAISSE D’EPARGNE , s.t.
54. LEEZER, Tom (Nl), RABOBANK , s.t.
55. PALOMARES, Adrián (Sp), CONTENTPOLIS-MURCIA , s.t.
56. MORENO BAZÁN, Javier (Sp), ANDALUCIA-CAJASUR , s.t.
57. CASAS GALLEGO, Claudio J (Sp), ANDALUCIA-CAJASUR , s.t.
58. CARRASCO GÁMIZ, José Luis (Sp), ANDALUCIA-CAJASUR , s.t.
59. MASCIARELLI, Francesco (I), ACQUA SAPONE-CAFFE MOKAMBO , s.t.
60. MONDELO DÍAZ, Josu (Sp), EXTREMADURA-G. GALLARDO , s.t.
61. BROCO, Hernani (P), LIBERTY SEGUROS , s.t.
62. ETXARRI, Javier (Sp), CONTENTPOLIS-MURCIA , s.t.
63. MENCHOV, Denis (Rus), RABOBANK , s.t.
64. PAULINHO, Sergio (P), ASTANA , s.t.
65. RUBIERA VIGIL, José Luis (Sp), ASTANA , s.t.
66. DEKKER, Thomas (Nl), RABOBANK , s.t.
67. SÁNCHEZ PIMIENTA, Julián (Sp), CONTENTPOLIS-MURCIA , s.t.
68. SÖRENSEN, Nicki (Dk), TEAM CSC , s.t.
69. GUSTOV, Volodymir (Ukr), TEAM CSC , s.t.
70. RAMÍREZ TORRES, Jesús (Sp), EXTREMADURA-G. GALLARDO , s.t.
71. DOMÍNGUEZ MUÑOZ, Sergio (Sp), CONTENTPOLIS-MURCIA , s.t.
72. NAVARRO GARCÍA, Daniel (Sp), ASTANA , s.t.
73. SÁNCHEZ GONZÁLEZ, Samuel (Sp), EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI , s.t.
74. AGIRRE ASEGINOLAZA, Josu (Sp), EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI , s.t.
75. SAMOILAU, Branislau (Blr), ACQUA SAPONE-CAFFE MOKAMBO , s.t.
76. SASTRE CANDIL, Carlos (Sp), TEAM CSC , s.t.
77. REDONDO RAMOS, José Antonio (Sp), ANDALUCIA-CAJASUR , s.t.
78. CUESTA LÓPEZ, Iñigo (Sp), TEAM CSC , s.t.
79. JESÚS, Antonio (P), LIBERTY SEGUROS , s.t.
80. MOLLEMA, Bauke (Nl), RABOBANK , s.t.
81. ZAMBRANO CALDERON, Gonzalo (Sp), EXTREMADURA-G. GALLARDO , s.t.
82. MILÁN JIMÉNEZ, Diego (Sp), ACQUA SAPONE-CAFFE MOKAMBO , s.t.
83. ANDRIOTTO, Dario (I), ACQUA SAPONE-CAFFE MOKAMBO , at 0:16
84. KLOSTERGAARD, Kasper (Dk), TEAM CSC , at 0:46
85. LÓPEZ GIL, José A (Sp), ANDALUCIA-CAJASUR , at 01:38
86. RUIZ SÁNCHEZ, José (Sp), ANDALUCIA-CAJASUR , s.t.
87. BOVEN, Jan (Nl), RABOBANK , at 02:28
88. FERNÁNDEZ CRUZ, Delio (Sp), KARPIN GALICIA , at 07:24
89. ROSENDO PRADO, Jesús (Sp), ANDALUCIA-CAJASUR , at 07:24
90. GIL PÉREZ, Koldo (P), LIBERTY SEGUROS , at 07:24
91. BRAJKOVIC, Janez (Slo), ASTANA , at 07:24
92. PATANCHON, Fabrice (F), CAISSE D’EPARGNE , at 07:24
93. KOZONTCHUK, Dimitri (Rus), RABOBANK , at 07:24
94. COBELO FOJO, Jesús (Sp), KARPIN GALICIA , at 07:24
95. TERCIADO SACEDO, Francisco José (Sp), EXTREMADURA-G. GALLARDO , at 07:24