uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

Another victory for Omega Pharma-Quick Step on a day where Sky went on the attack to gain 28 seconds on a number of their GC rivals

Photo: OPQS / Tim de Waele










18.03.2013 @ 16:51 Posted by Frederik Palle Pedersen

Sky put in another display of impressive strength with a powerful attack on the descent of today's first stage of the Volta a Catalunya. Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) outsprinted a small group to take his first win for his new team while riders like Bradley Wiggins (Sky), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha), Michele Scarponi (Lampre), Robert Gesink (Blanco) and Dan Martin (Garmin) all gained 28 seconds on their GC rivals.


Most expected today's opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya to be one for the strong sprinters. With the first season victory for Gianni Meersman, this turned out to be the case.


What few anticipated was a dramatic GC battle where the Sky team used an innocuous descent to distance most of their GC rivals. With Bradley Wiggins showing impressive strength in his first European stage race of the year, a massive acceleration on the final descent inside the final 18 km of the stage drew clear a 13-rider lead group which managed to keep the hard-chasing peloton at bay on the final run-in to the line.


The group consisted of Meersman, Wiggins, Dario Cataldo (Sky), David Lopez (Sky), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Jesus Herrada (Movistar), Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha), Michele Scarponi (Lampre), Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre), Robert Gesink (Blanco), Dan Martin (Garmin), Danilo Wyss (BMC) and Valerio Agnoli (Astana), and with a number of the biggest GC favourites present and eyeing and chance to make up time the collaboration was perfect.


At the back of the group, Meersman fancied his chances as one of the fastest men of the group and saved his legs for the final sprint. Inside the final kilometer, Wiggins took a massive turn on the front , and the riders starting their sprint even had trouble passing the defending Tour champion. In the end, Meersman crossed the line first to secure a convincing victory ahead of Agnoli and Valverde.



An early break goes clear

The 159 km stage started and finished in Calella and contained 5 categorized climbs - one in the first category, 4 in the third. The last of those topped out with just 18 km remaining and was followed by a mostly downhill run all the way to the finish line.


After a number of unsuccessful attacks, Cristiano Salerno (Cannondale) managed to escape the clutches of the peloton. He was later joined by Cristian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge) to form the day's main escape.


The duo managed to build up an advantage of 8.40 before a number of teams started to pick up the pace in the peloton. The first of those was Omega Pharma-Quick Step who saw a great chance for Meersman on today's route.


A number of teams start chasing

Vacansoleil with Pim Ligthart decided to join the Belgian team on the front, and gradually more and more teams chose to contribute. Blanco with sprinters Robert Wagner and Jetse Bol and  Astana with Francesco Gavazzi were all seen taking turns at the front, and as Ag2r with Samuel Dumoulin and Cofidis with Stephane Poulhies also made a presence at the head of the peloton the break was doomed. They were brought back at the bottom of the final climb.


As usual, Sky put their train on the front to string out the peloton on the climb. Young talent Joshua Edmondson took some huge turns with team leader Wiggins safely tucked in in fourth position. Just at the top Jesus Herrada took over at the front with Valverde on his wheel to make sure that the Movistar captain was well-placed on the descent.


Sky attacks on the descent

That turned out to be a good decision. As soon as they crested the summit, Wiggins and Cataldo applied the pressure on the completely strung out peloton. It forced a split, and the 13-man group broke clear. Behind a number of teams took up a desperate chase, but with great collaboration at the front they failed in their attempt to get back.


In the end Meersman showed his impressive sprint to power clear of his competitors. The disillusioned peloton crossed the finish line 28 seconds later with a number of pre-race favourites having been dealt a heavy blow by the Sky offensive.


With his victory, Meersman is the first leader of the race which continues tomorrow with the 161 km second stage. With a number of laps on a flat circuit at the end of the race, it looks to be one of the few opportunities for the pure sprinters.



The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21Androni sign Costa Rican super talent 04.01.2017 @ 17:13

Currently no news in this list

47 years | today
Alexander BRUS
28 years | today
34 years | today
Mark Oliver PRITZEN
23 years | today
Abd Elnnaim SAMADI
28 years | today