MADRID, April 4, 2011 – Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez, riding for the
Katusha team, on Monday won a sprint finish for the 151.2km first stage of the
Tour of the Basque Country around Zumarraga.
Rodriguez clocked 4hr 02min 22sec to finish just ahead of compatriot Samuel
Sanchez, riding for Euskaltel, who is one of the race favorites, and
Germany’s Andreas Kloeden of RadioShack.
The challengers attacked on the final climb of the day, the second category
Col de La Antigua, led first by last year’s race winner Chris Horner of the
He was quickly reeled in, however, after taking a lead of several meters.
Rodriguez lead the Tour of Spain last year before falling by the wayside
during the 17th stage individual time-trial.
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP) Katusha 4hr 02min 42sec, 2. Samuel Sanchez (ESP)
Euskaltel same time, 3. Andreas Kloden (GER) RadioShack s.t., 4. Christopher
Horner (USA) RadioShack at 1sec, 5. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) Garmin 6, 6. Damiano
Cunego (ITA) Lampre 6, 7. David Lopez (ESP) Movistar 6, 8. Robert Gesink
(NED) Rabobank 6, 9. Danilo Di Luca (ITA) Katusha 6, 10. Xavier Tondo (ESP)