Garcia Quesada leads Ruta

Comunitat Valenciana's Carlos Garcia Quesada takes a firm grip on the Ruta del Sol with a convincing

Comunitat Valenciana’s Carlos Garcia Quesada takes a firm grip on the Ruta del Sol with a convincing

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM While Ruben Plaza was concluding an overall victory for the Comunitat Valenciana team at the GP Costa Azul in Portugal, not too far away in southern Spain his team-mate Carlos Garcia Quesada has taken the first stage of the Ruta del Sol. Garcia Quesada finished 26 seconds clear of another Comunitat Valenciana rider, Francisco Cabello, at the Comares summit finish on day one of the five-day event. The rest of the pack were even further behind, with Davitamon’s Johan Vansummeren third at 40 seconds, and Roberto Petito fourth at 1-33. With such significant gaps, Garcia Quesada is already the firm favourite for overall victory in this race also known as the Tour of Andalucia. Garcia Quesada, who is from the Andalucian city of Granada and was second in this race last year to Juan Carlos Dominguez, was involved in the main action right through the stage, and he and his team will no doubt be looking for more success in Monday’s summit finish at Cumbres Verdes, above La Zubia. Garcia Quesada was quick to pay tribute to his team manager, Vicente Belda, who is currently under investigation for allegedly making death threats to a Spanish journalist. Although the day belonged very much to Comunitat Valenciana, Roger Hammond also showed well in his European debut in Discovery Channel colours. Although not on his favoured terrain, the Briton finished 11th on the stage, a good indication that his winter preparation has gone well. Stage 1, Benalmadena-Alto de Comares 1 Carlos Garc¡a Quesada (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 150.5km 4.05.50 (36.73kph) 2 Francisco Cabello (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 0.26 3 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 0.40 4 Roberto Petito (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1.33 5 Efrain Gutierrez (Spa) Andalucia-Paul Versan 1.43 6 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada 2.00 7 Vicente Reynes (Spa) Illes Balears 8 Josu Silloniz (Spa) Euskaltel 2.05 9 Camille Bouquet (Fra) 2.10 10 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval 2.18 11 Roger Hammond (GB) Discovery Channel 2.47