03/18/2013 – (rsn) – Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was the first in Calella Won stage of the Tour of Catalonia. The Belgians continued in a strong field sprint group with many favorites through after 159 kilometers ahead of the Italian Valerio Agnoli (Astana) and Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and took the white jersey of the overall leader.
Together with twelve other riders are Meersman had settled in the well-built departure of the last climb of the day by the peloton. Here, the 27-year-old was not the asset. Instead, he followed a pace tightening of Sky Team to increase already in the field 3 Category had protracted and Downhill finally finally ripped apart.
In the final Meersman gave up 200 yards in front of the goal at the end of the group before it on the slightly uphill finish line launched his sprint perfectly and sprinted past a few meters before the finish line still in the competition.
“The Tour of Catalonia is one of my goals for the season. Here I was going good, I’m good humored accordingly now after my victory,” Meersman said after the race. “In the sprint I deliberately stopped at the end of the group, so that no one could surprise me.”
The Sky team did indeed fight for the victory from empty, but the British brought by its aggressive driving style in the final a few favorites on denGesamtsieg in severe distress. So lost the Russian Denis Menchov (Katusha), the Belgian Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) and Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) the contact and the goal finally 28 seconds behind Tour winner Bradley Wiggins, the day was sixth.
As surprising as the attack of the Sky Armada was – all counterparties in the fight for the overall victory of the first Spanish World Tour itinerary of the season could not, of course, depend on the British. Both Valverde and Dutchman Robert Gesink (Blanco / 7), the Italian Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida / 8) and Spain’s Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) came simultaneously with Wiggins finish. The top ten was completed by fourth in the Swiss Wyss from the BMC team and finished fifth, the Irishman Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and Wiggins’ teammate David Lopez Garcia (Spain) and Dario Cataldo (Italy) on the ninth and tenth .
Before the Alto de Collsacreu went off the post, two outliers had determined the race: Cannondale professional Cristiano Salerno in Italy and the Canadian Christian Meier (Orica GreenEdge). The two harmonize well and the mountain and sprints on the road split so that Salerno for the first winner of the Mountain jersey and Meier for the sprint bonuses was penned. About 25 kilometers from the finish, the duo but was brought back under the pace dictated by Sky into the main draw.