Vicioso leads depleted Basque race

Liberty Seguros' Angel Vicioso takes the early lead in the Bicicleta Vasca, while the organiser comp

Liberty Seguros' Angel Vicioso takes the early lead in the Bicicleta Vasca, while the organiser comp

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Liberty Seguros' Angel Vicioso has won the opening stage of the Bicicleta Vasca race this afternoon, repeating his first day success in the same race last year. The fast-finishing Vicioso beat Kaiku's Yon Bru and Saunier Duval's Joaquin Rodriguez as a 10-strong group contested the sprint in Sopelana.

The Basque event is not part of the ProTour series, and race director Julian Eraso complained in this morning's edition of AS that this has severely reduced the pulling power of the event. Only three ProTour teams are taking part, all of them Spanish, with the peloton only 103 riders strong.

"The UCI ProTour has left us in pieces," said Eraso. "We have had real problems in being able to contract teams. We only have three Spanish teams, and we haven't been able to attract Illes Balears nor any foreign ProTour teams. And even the ones that have come are doing us a favour. They are overwhelmed by the demands of the calendar and have told us that next year they might not be able to commit to us."

Eraso added that unless things improve his organising team will consider pulling out of the event, as well as from all of the events in lower categories that they also put on in the Basque Country.

Stage 1, Eibar-Sopelana

1 Angel Vicioso (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Wurth 165km in 3.58.53
2 Yon Bru (Spa) Kaiku
3 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Saunier Duval
4 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Barloworld
5 Jos Alberto Martinez (Spa) Ag2r
6 I¤aki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel
7 Daniele Masolino (Ita) LPR
8 David Latasa (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana
9 Adrian Palomares (Spa) Kaiku 0.03
10 Stefano Cavallari (Ita) Barloworld 0.07

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