Swiss rider wins Catalan opener from long breakaway
MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Swiss rider Michael Albasini (GreenEdge) won the first stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya solo Monday after attacking his breakaway partners. Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun) finished second, at 42 seconds, with Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) third, at 1:14.
“It’s great to get the win,” said Albasini. “The first win with a new team is always very special. I worked hard in the off season. To see this work pay off for me and the team is important.”
The Swiss rider, 31, winner of a stage at the Vuelta a España last year, assumed control of the general classification.
“I realized if I could unload the other guys in the break, I had a good chance of making it to the finish,” said Albasini. “At that point, I wasn’t sure if I could hold off the bunch chasing behind. I had Vittorio Algeri behind me giving me information and willing me onto the finish. I really appreciate the work of the team that put me in the position to win.”