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Crash trumps Martin at Pais Vasco

Posted 02 April 2012

Dan Martin was unlucky to get caught behind a crash near the finish of the opening stage of the Tour of the Basque Country after a show of strength on the final climb of the day.

Martin (Garmin-Barracuda) trailed in 1’28” behind stage winner Jose Joaquin Rojas (Moviestar) but his time loss is expected to be wiped out under the rules which allow for crashes inside the final three kilometres.

The Irishman was well positioned heading into the final climb of the third category Alto De San Cosme as the peloton pulled back a two-man break.

David De La Fuente (Caja Rural) and Davide Mucelli (Utensilnord Named) attacked just 16 kilometres into the 153 kilometre mountainous loop around Guenes.

They were five minute up over the first two climbs of the day but their lead slowly crumbled as they negotiated the four climbs which took the race onto a 23 kilometre long finishing circuit.

The duo were caught as the race made its way onto the final climb where Martin took control of the pace setting with teammates Tom Danielson and Ryder Hesjedal at close quarters.

His efforts at the front of the race prevented him from becoming tangled up in an initial crash which occurred when a rider fell near the head of the peloton on the 5% gradient.

Danielson attacked on the descent where he managed to pull out a five seconds lead with four other riders but the group were unable to stay clear as the race entered the final five kilometres.

Martin continued to ride strongly as the race regrouped and Daniel Navarro (Saxo Bank) and Tour of Lombary winner Oliver Zaugg (Radioshack-Nissan) tried their hand at escaping.

The race came back together with four kilometres to go but a crash just one kilometre later left Martin and Danielson adrift as teammates Fabian Wegmann and Hesjedal contested the bunch sprint.

Rojas waited until the final 50 metres to open his sprint for the line holding off Wouter Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) while Wegmann secured third.

Results:

Vuelta Ciclista al Paris Vasco

Stage 1: Guenes - Guenes, 153 kilometers

1.  Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar 3:57:44  
2.  Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
3.  Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin - Barracuda  
4.  Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
5.  Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
6.  Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda  
7.  Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
8.  Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
9.  Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
10. Paolo Bailetti (Ita) Utensilnord Named

107. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin Barracuda

General classification after stage 1:

1.  Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar 3:57:44  
2.  Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
3.  Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin - Barracuda  
4.  Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
5.  Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
6.  Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda  
7.  Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
8.  Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
9.  Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
10. Paolo Bailetti (Ita) Utensilnord Named

107. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda

 

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