Di Luca wins Basque Country opener

Danilo Di Luca takes the first stage of the Tour of the Basque Country in Zarautz ahead of some very

Danilo Di Luca takes the first stage of the Tour of the Basque Country in Zarautz ahead of some very
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Danilo Di Luca won today's opening stage of the Tour of the Basque Country, leading in a group of around 50 riders at the end of a stage centred on the coastal town of Zarautz. The Liquigas-Bianchi rider finished ahead of Spaniards Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero and Alejandro Valverde. The stage comprised three laps of a 40-odd kilometre circuit that included the third-cat climb of the Meaga. On the opening lap, Relax's Ivan Mayoz and Comunitat Valenciana's Carlos Zarate, a stage winner on this race last year, broke clear and established a lead of almost nine minutes going over the Meaga as the bunch dawdled in mild spring sunshine. The pair were caught soon after the final ascent of the Meaga and on the approach to the steep second-cat Garate climb, where Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin led over Illes Balears' Unai Osa and Lampre-Caffita's Damiano Cunego. From there it was seven very precipitous kilometres down into the finish, where Di Luca held off the challenge from Valverde and the fast-finishing Perdiguero to take the stage and an early overall advantage in what is the fifth race in the ProTour series. Stage 1, Zarautz circuit 1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 133km in 3.10.51 (41.81kph) 2 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Phonak 3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Illes Balears 4 Jrome Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 5 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 6 David Etxebarria (Spa) Liberty Seguros 7 Michael Boogerd (Hol) Rabobank 8 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 9 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile 10 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step 15 Brad McGee (Aus) Francaise des Jeux 28 Bobby Julich (USA) CSC 69 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 0.21 77 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 121 Matt White (Aus) Cofidis 133 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 1.32 142 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel 1.47 154 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery Channel 2.50 180 Ivan Basso (Ita) CSC 7.54 181 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC
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