Valverde takes position
18 March 2013

Volta a Catalunya (st. 1)

The Spanish rider from the Movistar Team claims 3rd at the finish, comes across the finish alongside José Herrada into 13-rider elite group with almost thirty second after splits in the day's final descent

It was a good start for Movistar Team in the 93rd edition of the Volta a Catalunya in Calella, stage one featuring a rolling, 159-kilometer parcours with five categorized climbs. The final descent from Collsacreu, with 15k from the end, saw a 13-rider split forming with two men from the telephone squad: Alejandro Valverde and José Herrada. The duo was joined by Wiggins, Cataldo and López (SKY), Agnoli (AST), Martin (GRS), Wyss (BMC), Gesink (BLA), Scarponi and Niemiec (LAM), Rodríguez (KAT) and Meersman (OPQ), who reached the finish with 28 seconds over the first pursuit group -including all six Blue riders remaining-. Meersman imposed his top speed over Agnoli and Valverde, who conquered four bonus seconds for the general classification, where he also sits in 3rd.

Before that split in the downhill of the third passage through Collsacreu, the race had long been led by Salerno (CAN) and Meier (OGE) into a break that Movistar Team always kept under control at the front, sharing tasks with Omega and Vacansoleil. The Catalan race will be tackling a 161-kilometer ride from Girona to Banyoles tomorrow, with chances for sprinters as the finish is crossed four times into a final, semi-urban circuit. It should be a calm day before two consecutive mountain-top finishes on Wednesday and Thursday.