Cancellara Wins Stage 1 of Vuelta
Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) has won Stage 1 of the Vuelta a Espana. The Olympic time trial champion won the flat, 4.8-km race of truth in Assen, the Netherlands in 5:20. Tom Boonen (Quick Step) took second at 0:09, and Tyler Farrar (Garmin) finished third at 0:12.
The stage was ridden in the rain. Roman Kreuzinger (Liquigas) posted the early standard, a 5:37. Daniele Bennati, Kreuzinger's teammate, pipped the Czech by 0:01 to take the lead. Liquigas would acquit itself well, placing four riders in the top 10.
Jens Mouris (Vacansoleil) set the next standard with a 5:34. He did not remain the leader long because Boonen shattered his mark--comparatively--with a 5:29. Farrar attempted to better the Belgian's mark, but a headwind kept him from doing so and forced him to settle for a 5:32.
Cadel Evans (Silence), who is attempting to salvage his season after a miserable Tour de France, posted a 5:39, which was good enough for 12th. Ivan Basso (Liquigas) finished eighth at 0:18. Alexander Vinokourov (Astana), who is riding his first race after completing a two-year suspension, posted a 5:44, and Robert Gesink (Rabobank), who was riding in front of his compatriots, matched Vinokourov's time.
Cancellara claimed not to be in good shape for this time trial, but no one would know from his performance. He powered over the course and crossed the finish line well clear of Boonen.
In the overall, Cancellara leads Boonen by 0:09 and Farrar by 0:12. Stage 2, a flat 203.7-km run from Assen to Emmen, the Netherlands, will be a stage that is tailor made for the sprinters. Which one will win? Boonen? Oscar Freire (Rabobank)? Tyler Farrar (Garmin)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!