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By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
The ONCE team of Joseba Beloki and Jorg Jaksche took command on day 1 of the Tour of Catalonia on Thursday, winning the stage 1 team time trial and putting Spaniard Marcos Serrano into the leader’s white jersey. Beloki and Jaksche put themselves into good position for the overall, as their ONCE team finished the difficult 20.5km stage around Sabadell 47 seconds ahead of the Festina team of Angel Casero and 53 seconds ahead of Kelme and Oscar Sevilla.
Among the other favorites, iBanesto.com’s Jose-Maria Jimenez lost 58 seconds, Telekom’s Andreas Kloden 1:08, and the Crédit Agricole squad of Americans Bobby Julich and Jonathan Vaughters was 1:13 behind in seventh place.
The U.S. Postal and Mercury squads finished well down, in 15th and 17th places respectively, with Postal’s Roberto Heras losing 1:51 to Serrano and Mercury’s Pavel Tonkov dropping three minutes to the leader.
Friday’s second stage will take the riders 173.5km from Sabadell to Blanes and includes two first-category climbs and two second-category climbs.
Tour of Catalonia, Stage 1, Team time trial
(times of a team’s first three riders added together to determine team time)
1. ONCE (Sp) 1:15:39.
2. Festina (Fra) 1:18:00.
3. Kelme (Sp) 1:18:18.
4. Ibanesto.Com (Sp) 1:18:33.
5. Telekom (All) 1:19:03.
6. Relax-Fuenlabrada (Sp) 1:19:09.
7. Credit Agricole (Fra) 1:19:18.
8. Euskaltel (Sp) 1:19:33.
9. Mercatone (I) 1:20:03.
10. Domo (Bel) 1:20:06.
11. Cantina tollo (I) 1:20:21.
12. Team Coast (All) 1:20:24.
13. Alessio (I) 1:20:39.
14. Lampre (I) 1:21:03.
15. US Postal (USA) 1:21:12.
16. Jazztel-Costa Almeria (Sp) 1:22:51.
17. Mercury-viatel (USA) 1:25:12
1. Marcos Serrano (Sp), ONCE, 25:13; 2. Santos Gonzalez (Sp), ONCE; 3. Jorg Jaksche (G), ONCE; 4. Joseba Beloki (Sp), ONCE; 5. Igor Gonzalez (Sp), ONCE, all s.t.; 6. Angel Casero (Sp), Festina, at 0:47; 7. Jaime Hernandez (Sp), Festina; 8. Felix Garcia (Sp), Festina; 9. Sven Teutenberg (G), Festina; 10. Luis Perez (Sp), Festina, all s.t.