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With a powerful uphill sprint, Barbero passed Moreno just before the line to win the first stage of the Vuelt a Burgos; the Caja Rural rider is the first leader of the race

CAJA RURAL - SEGUROS RGA

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DANIEL MORENO

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JESUS HERRADA

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VUELTA A BURGOS 

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04.08.2015 @ 16:43 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural) continued his marvelous 2015 season when he won the opening stage of the Vuelta a Burgos in impressive fashion. The Spaniard managed to pass Daniel Moreno (Katusha) who had done a long sprint on the uphill finishing straight which was enough to take both the stage win and the yellow jersey.

 

The 2015 season has been a breakthrough for Carlos Barbero who has proved that he deserves his spot at the professional level. After several near-misses, he took his first win in the Vuelta Madrid and since then he has taken numerous wins in North America and several top results in Europe.

 

Today he continued his impressive season by taking the biggest victory of his short career, coming out on top in the uphill sprint on the first stage of the Vuelta a Burgos which is the traditional warm-up event for the Vuelta a Espana. The Caja Rural sprinter timed everything perfectly to pass favourite Daniel Moreno just before the line.

 

All day Astana and Katusha had controlled the race and they had set a fast pace on the long, flat roads that characterized most of the stage. Hence, it was all back together with 5km to go when the riders approached the final 2km that were slightly uphill.

 

Southeast and Katusha had lined out their trains on the front of the peloton but it was Ag2r that took control in the finale. Blel Kadri and Matteo Montaguti both took strong turns to string out the peloton and send riders out the back door.

 

Katusha kicked into action when the peloton passed the flamme rouge, trying to set Moreno up for the sprint. They neutralized a strong attack from Rein Taaramae before Egor Silin did the lead-out forhis captain.

 

Miguel Rubiano (Colombia) tried to go from afar and this forced Moreno to respond. The Spaniard passed the Colombia rider and rode strongly towards the finish. However, Barbero was in the perfect position on his wheel and easily passed the fading Katusha captain to take the big win. Jesus Herrada (Movistar) took third, with Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) losing 2 seconds and the rest of the peloton crossing the line 3 seconds later.

 

With the win, Barbero takes the first leader’s jersey in the race but he is equal on time with Moreno and Herrada. He is likely to lose his position tomorrow in the first big GC stage of the race when the riders will tackle a 13.14km team time trial. It is mostly flat but includes a small climb that will test the cohesiveness of the team.

 

A lumpy opener

The 37th edition of the Vuelta a Burgos kicked off with a 149km stage that brought the riders from Santo Domingo de Silos to Romana de Clunia. Right from the start, the riders tackled a category 3 climb and there were another three such ascents in the first two thirds of the race. However, most of the stage was flat before the riders got to the finale where they faced a tough uphill sprint on roads that averaged 6%.

 

It was a sunny and hot day in Burgos when the riders gathered for the start of the opening stage of the race. They got it off to a fast beginning before a break was established after 5km of racing.

 

Five riders get clear

Fabio Duarte (Colombia), Arnau Sole (Burgos), Egoits Garcia (Murias Taldea), Luis Mas (Caja Rural) and Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r) were the riders that got clear and when Duarte led Sole, Garcia and Mas over the top of the first climb at the 8km mark, they already had an advantage of a minute. After 17km of racing, it had gone out to a maximum of 3.38 which was the signal for the peloton to up the pace.

 

When Sole beat Mas and Garcia in the first intermediate sprint at the 27km mark, the gap had been reduced to just 2.38 and when Duarte won the next KOM sprint, beating Gougeard, Sole and Mas, it was 2.22. Sole was again fastest in the second sprint, holding off Mas and Garcia.

 

The break splits up

At this point, the gap was only 1.50 and it was Astana and Katusha who had taken control of the peloton. They slowed down a bit so when Mas beat Garcia and Sole in the next intermediate sprint, it was back up to 2.14.

 

Duarte led Garcia, Mas and Gougeard over the top of the next climb before the attacking started at the 90km mark. Sole and Garcia were the first to get dropped and later Duarte was also distanced.

 

The break is caught

Mas and Gougeard were battling hard against the Astana team that had taken complete control. With 45km to go, the gap was only 1.20 and it was Alessandro Vanotti and Davide Malacarne who took some huge turns on the front.

 

Gougeard led Mas over the top of the final climb while Vanotti and Malacarne were first from the peloton 1.10 later. However, Astana’s fast pace was too much for the escapees and the gap was down to just 40 seconds with 33km to go. That prompted them to sit up and with 30km to go, it was all back together.

 

Insausti attacks

While everybody was fighting for position on the flat, exposed roads, Malacarne and Vanotti continued to set a fast pace. The plains in Burgos are known for being windy so it was extremely nervous, with Katusha, Ag2r and Astana all featuring prominently near the front for the next 15km.

 

With 15km to go, the peloton calmed down a bit and this allowed Ion Ander Insausti (Murias Taldea) to make an attack. The Basque got an advantage of around 10 seconds but Astana went straight into chase mode with Vanotti and Malacarne.

 

Inside the final 10km, it was all back together and from there it was a big fight for position, with Katusha, Southeast, Ag2r, Astana and Caja Rural dominating the front of the field until Ag2r took over to start the exciting finale.

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