Frantic start in San Fernando

19 February 2012
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V. Andalucía - Prologue

A six-kilometer prologue in the coastal town near Cádiz opens the Andalusian race, with high hopes put on Movistar Team. Gutiérrez takes 10th as Gretsch snatches first leader jersey

Seven minutes of suffering -ten seconds less for the first leader, German Patrick Gretsch (PRO)- opened the 58th edition of the Vuelta a Andalucía. The six-kilometer course of the prologue stage through the streets of San Fernando (Cádiz) were the preface for the four exciting stages ahead, where Movistar Team, with a strong lineup led by Alejandro Valverde and local hero Javi Moreno, will seek for victories to add to their account in this early season.

The hopes by the telephone squad were focused today on the chances by Iván Gutiérrez: the Spaniard fought within the best to clock a time of 7.01, 12 seconds behind the victor to close the day’s top-ten just under 53 kilometers per hour. Kiryienka, Konovalovas, Erviti, Intxausti, Valverde and Moreno, all of them within ten seconds and into the top 40, also made good times and shopwed their form before the upcoming four road stages, starting with a long, not really hard 198k ride from Zahara de los Atunes to the coastal Benalmádena, into a sliglhtly uphill, 400m final straight.