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"The stage was hard and technical, but I was in a good shape. On the last climb I stayed near the front of the group because I knew the descent could be dangerous. The most important thing is that our leader, Simon Spilak, was in the m...

Photo: Team Katusha






01.04.2013 @ 21:10 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Angel Vicioso once again delivered a top result for Katusha in a WorldTour race as he sprinted to a fine 3rd place in the first stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. While he was happy for his personal performance, the main objective was to keep GC leader Simon Spilak safe on a dangerous day.


Angel Vicoso has proved to be a dangerous man in a sprint at the end of a hard day of racing. His third place in today's opening stage in the Basque Country was another testament to that ability.


He made sure to crest the summit of the last climb in the front end of the peloton, and hence he was part of the 16-man group that broke clear after a crash split up the peloton at the top of the climb. He kept calm on the difficult final descent and was only beaten by Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) and Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) in the final sprint.


Vicioso was joined in the front group by the team's GC leader Simon Spilak. After the Slovenian's impressive solo performance in Saturday's GP Miguel Indurain, the Russian team have big hopes for a top result and while Vicioso was happy with his podium spot in today's stage, he emphasized the importance of the long-term objectives.


“In general I’m satisfied with the result," he said. "I was a little bit too far back in the last corner and it was difficult to catch the first rider, so I tried to get the best possible result. The stage was hard and technical, but I was in a good shape. On the last climb I stayed near the front of the group, because I knew the descent could be dangerous. The most important thing is that our leader, Simon Spilak, was in the main group with all the other favourite riders.”


Vicioso will have another opportunity to go for a personal result in tomorrow's stage. With the mostly flat run-in only interrupted by a couple of category 3 climbs, the stage should be another one for the fast men before the GC riders take center stage on Wednesday.


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