Events

Sobrino takes Castilla y León opener

Very few people will be talking about the biggest win of Joaquín Sobrino’s career. The Burgos Monumental rider sped to victory in the opening stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y León, but the world’s media were focused on the crash involving Lance Armstrong (Astana) with about 15km to go. The seven-time Tour de France winner went down in a nasty pileup as the peloton was completing its chase of a four-man breakaway and left the race in an ambulance (see main story).

By Andrew Hood

Joaquin Sobrino (Burgos Monumental) wins the kickoff to the Vuelta a Castilla y León.

Photo: Graham Watson

Very few people will be talking about the biggest win of Joaquín Sobrino’s career.

The Burgos Monumental rider sped to victory in the opening stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y León, but the world’s media were focused on the crash involving Lance Armstrong (Astana) with about 15km to go.

The seven-time Tour de France winner went down in a nasty pileup as the peloton was completing its chase of a four-man breakaway and left the race in an ambulance (see main story).

Armstrong was racing in a European stage race for the first time since 2005 and all the cameras were focused on him. Few in the media were thinking about Sobrino, or had even heard of him.

José López (Andalucia-CajaSur) and danger man Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing) bid for glory in stage 1.

Photo: Graham Watson

Four riders peeled away in the opening 10km in the bumpy, 176.3km ride from Parades de Nava to Becerril de Campos across Spain’s northern meseta. In the move were Raul Santamarta, Mikel Ilundain (Orbea), José López (Andalucia-CajaSur) and danger man Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing).

The leaders had opened up a gap of more than six minutes by 65km, prompting Astana and Caisse d’Epargne to take up the chase.

Only Mancebo — winner of a stage at the Amgen Tour of California — and López could maintain the pace as the pack closed to within two minutes with 20km to go.

Haimar Zubeldia working it for Astana.

Haimar Zubeldia working it for Astana.

Photo: Graham Watson

As the peloton turned onto a narrow road, a crash in the middle of the pack took down Armstrong and a dozen other riders. The American was transported away by ambulance. Mancebo and Lopéz were duly reeled in and the bunch regrouped for a mass sprint.

Caisse d’Epargne and Euskaltel-Euskadi drilled it to set up their sprinters, but it was Sobrino who drove home the victory. Though he won stages last year at the Vuelta a Mexico and the Vuelta a Navarra in Spain, this is Sobrino’s first victory against an elite professional field.

Sobrino atop the podium following his victory in stage 1 of the 2009 Vuelta a Castilla y León.

Photo: Graham Watson

“We had luck to have had a teammate in the break, who did a great job and allowed us not to have to pull in the back,” Sobrino said. “I was our card to play and I was lucky because I was in good position in the last corner and I could surprise Rojas. With this win, I’ve already fulfilled my objectives for this race, because I still can’t believe it when I look around and see all these stars, Armstrong, Contador, Valverde. I enjoyed it to the maximum and to win today was the best.”

Coming across the line second was David Vitoria (Rock Racing) with José Joaquín Rojas (Caisse d’Epargne) third.

The 24th Vuelta a Castilla y León continues Tuesday with a 28.2km individual time trial on a rolling course in Palencia.

It should be a good opportunity for riders like Levi Leipheimer and Alberto Contador (Astana) and Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream).

Photo Gallery

Results

Vuelta a Castilla y León
Stage 1

1. Sobrino, Joaquin (Sp), Burgos Monumental, 176.3km in 4:31:53
2. Vitoria, David (Swi), Rock Racing, s.t.
3. Rojas, Jose Joaquin (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
4. Perez, Ruben (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
5. Cardoso, Manuel (Sp), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
6. Dekker, Hans (Ned), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
7. Mouron, Juan Fco. (Sp), Xacobeo-Galicia, s.t.
8. Kostyuk, Denys (Ukr), ISD, s.t.
9. Serrano, Ricardo (Sp), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
10. Urtasun, Pablo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
11. Dominguez, Gustavo (Sp), Xacobeo-Galicia, s.t.
12. Ardila, Alberto (Col), Rabobank, s.t.
13. Gutierrez, Jose Ivan (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
14. Mata, Enrique (Sp), Burgos Monumental, s.t.
15. Vorganov, Eduard (Rus), Xacobeo-Galicia, s.t.
16. Moreno, Javier (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
17. Perez, Marlon (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
18. Sevilla, Oscar (Sp), Rock Racing, s.t.
19. Pinto, Edgar (Sp), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
20. Claude, Mathieu (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
21. Abakoumov, Igor (B),ISD, s.t.
22. Carrasco, Jose A. (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
23. Vande Velde, Christian (Usa), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
24. Mirenda, Gianluca (I),ISD, s.t.
25. Plaza, Ruben (Sp), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
26. Cobo, J. Jose (Sp), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
27. Contador, Alberto (Sp), Astana, s.t.
28. Irizar, Markel (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
29. Clement, Stef (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
30. Sesma, Daniel (Sp), Orbea, s.t.
31. Nozal, Carlos (Sp), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
32. Menchov, Denis (Rus), Rabobank, s.t.
33. Arashiro, Yukiya (Jpn), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
34. Izaguirre, Gorka (Sp), Contentpolis-Ampo, s.t.
35. Rodriguez, Fred (Usa), Rock Racing, s.t.
36. Guama, Byron (Ecu), Burgos Monumental, s.t.
37. Kondrut, Vitaly (Ukr), ISD, s.t.
38. Oliveira, Helder (Por), Barbot-Siper, s.t.
39. Konovalovas, Ignatas (Ltu), Cervelo TestTeam, s.t.
40. Nozal, Isidro (Sp), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
41. Pasamontes, Luis (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
42. Hernandez, Aitor (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
43. Mejias, Javier (Sp), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
44. Le Floch, Guillaume (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
45. Pires, Bruno (Por), Barbot-Siper, s.t.
46. Noval, Benjamin (Sp), Astana, s.t.
47. Gutierrez, Jose E. (Sp), Rock Racing, s.t.
48. Garate, Juan M. (Sp), Rabobank, s.t.
49. Bernabeu, David (Sp), Barbot-Siper, s.t.
50. Mollema, Bauke (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
51. Herrada, Jose (Sp), Contentpolis-Ampo, s.t.
52. Paleo, Alejandro (Sp), Xacobeo-Galicia, s.t.
53. Mosquera, Ezequiel (Sp), Xacobeo-Galicia, s.t.
54. Deignan, Philip Ire Cervelo TestTeam, s.t.
55. Intxasti, Beñat (Sp), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
56. Tondo, Xavier (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
57. Danielson, Tom (Usa), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
58. Gustov, Volodimir (Ukr), Cervelo TestTeam, s.t.
59. Etxarri, Javier (Sp), Contentpolis-Ampo, s.t.
60. Moerenhout, Koos (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
61. Ten Dam, Laurens (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
62. Duran, Arkaitz (Sp), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
63. Galparsoro, Dioni (Sp), Contentpolis-Ampo, s.t.
64. Perez, Francisco (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
65. Caldwell, Blake (Usa), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
66. Calvente, Manuel (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
67. Zubeldia, Haimar (Sp), Astana, s.t.
68. Txurruka, Amets (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
69. Castroviejo, Jonathan (Sp), Orbea, s.t.
70. Sastre, Carlos (Sp), Cervelo TestTeam, s.t.
71. Riccibitti, Davide (I),ISD, s.t.
72. Valverde, Alejandro (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
73. Garcia, David (Sp), Xacobeo-Galicia, s.t.
74. Ribero, Nuno (Sp), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
75. Castanheira, Bruno (Por), Barbot-Siper, s.t.
76. Larralde, Joseba (Sp), Orbea, s.t.
77. Matviev, Sergi (Ukr), ISD, s.t.
78. Peña, Victor H. (Col), Rock Racing, s.t.
79. Nieve, Mikel (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
80. Quemeneur, Perrig (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
81. Palomares, Adrian (Sp), Contentpolis-Ampo, s.t.
82. Chadwick, Glen (Nz), Rock Racing, s.t.
83. Kozontchuk, Dmitry (Rus), Rabobank, s.t.
84. Pinho, Carlos (Por), Barbot-Siper, s.t.
85. Valls, Rafael (Sp), Burgos Monumental, s.t.
86. Euser, Lucas (Usa), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
87. Piedra, Antonio (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
88. Sanchez, Julian (Sp), Contentpolis-Ampo, s.t.
89. Zabriskie, David (Usa), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
90. Leipheimer, Levi (Usa), Astana, s.t.
91. Hernandez, Jesus (Sp), Astana, s.t.
92. Losada, Alberto (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
93. Mancebo, Francisco (Sp), Rock Racing, s.t.
94. Pujol, Oscar (Sp), Cervelo TestTeam, s.t.
95. Huzarski, Bartozs (Pol), ISD, s.t.
96. Kvachuk, Oleksandr (Ukr), ISD, s.t.
97. Anton, Igor (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
98. Lopez, Jose A. (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, s.t.
99. Garcia, Jose Vte. (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne A 28
100. Bernaudeau, Giovanni (Sp), Bouygues Telecom, at 5:27
101. Melero, Ivan (Sp), Burgos Monumental, at 5:27
102. Santamarta, Raul (Sp), Burgos Monumental, at 5:27
103. Francisco, David (Sp), Burgos Monumental, at 5:27
104. Ilundai, Mikel (Sp), Orbea, at 5:27
105. Benitez, Javier (Sp), Contentpolis-Ampo, at 5:30
106. Sokolov, Eugey (Rus), Bouygues Telecom, at 5:30
107. Redondo, Jose A. (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, at 5:30
108. Minguez, Miguel (Sp), Orbea, at 6:36
109. Jesus, Antonio (Por), Liberty Seguros, at 6:36
110. Olano, Aitor (Sp), Orbea, at 6:36
111. Benitez, J. Alberto (Sp), Fuji-Servetto, at 6:36
112. Broco, Hernani (Por), Liberty Seguros, at 6:36
113. Celis, Vidal (Sp), Barbot-Siper, at 6:36
114. Gaudin, Damien (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 6:36
115. Pauwels, Serge (B), Cervelo TestTeam, at 6:36
116. Martin, David (Sp), Rock Racing, at 6:36
117. V.Der Velde, Ricardo (Ned), Garmin-Slipstream, at 6:36
118. Dujn, Huub (Ned), Garmin-Slipstream, at 6:36
119. Coelho, Samuel (Por), Barbot-Siper, at 6:36
120. Isaychev, Vladimir (Sp), Xacobeo-Galicia, at 6:36
121. Echeverz, Eneko (Sp), Orbea, at 6:36
122. Amorin, Antonio (Por), Barbot-Siper, at 6:36
123. Dominguez, Ivan (Cub), Fuji-Servetto, at 6:36
124. Fernandez, Alberto (Sp), Xacobeo-Galicia, at 6:36
125. Garcia, Oscar (Sp), Contentpolis-Ampo, at 6:36
126. Cuesta, Iñigo (Sp), Cervelo TestTeam, at 6:36
127. Rubiera, Jose Luis (Sp), Astana, at 6:36
128. Vaitkus, Tomas (Ltu), Astana, at 6:36
129. Gallego, Diego (Sp), Burgos Monumental, at 6:36
130. Ruiz, Eriz (Sp), Orbea, at 6:36
131. Novoa, Joaquin (Sp), Cervelo TestTeam, at 9:32
132. Martinez, Fco. Jose (Sp), Andalucia-Cajasur, at 9:32
133. Azanza, Jorge (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 9:32