Catalunya Report: Stage 1
– Reported by Dan Osipow for Tailwind Sports –
One day after Lance Armstrong claimed the Dauphine Libere for the United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team for the second time in three years, the USPS team won today’s opening team trial stage at the Tour of Catalunya in Deltebre, Spain. The victory in the 30.9 kilometer stage, held on a flat course from Sant Jaume d’Enveja to Deltebre placed the USPS’ Tom Boonen in the race lead. The USPS team holds the top six places in the general classification followed by seven riders from the runner-up ONCE team three seconds back.
“It was a dead flat course with strong crosswinds the whole time,” said Dirk Demol, the USPS team’s assistant director sportif. “The team was good today, this was clear. George (Hincapie) was our leader today and perhaps our strongest rider but it was great to see that almost everyone was as strong.”
Two kilometers before the finish line, both David Clinger and Matt White fell off the pace and finished over one minute back. The time of the team in a team time trial is marked when the fifth place rider crosses the line. Following Boonen was Hincapie, Michael Barry, Roberto Heras, newly crowned U.S. Pro champion Chann McRae and Christian Vande Velde.
“It’s great to see a young rider such as Tom leading a prestigious event like the Tour of Catalunya,” added Demol. “For the overall, Roberto is very motivated and wants to have a top finish in the classification. It’s good for him to already have gained some time on his rivals on a day in which it didn’t seem possible to make big gaps because the course was so flat.”
STAGE 1, TOUR OF CATALUNYA
1. U.S. Postal Service; 30.9 kms in 34:36
2. ONCE-Eroski; at :03
3. Mapei-Quick Step; at :10
4. Team Coast; at :21
5. Lampre-Daikin; at :25
GC AFTER STAGE 1, TOUR OF CATALUNYA
1. Tom Boonen, U.S. Postal Service; 34:36
2. George Hincapie, U.S. Postal Service; s.t.
3. Michael Barry, U.S. Postal Service; s.t.
4. Roberto Heras, U.S. Postal Service; s.t.
5. Chann McRae, U.S. Postal Service; s.t.
6. Christian Vande Velde, U.S. Postal Service; s.t.
70. David Clinger, U.S. Postal Service; at 1:04
94. Matt White, U.S. Postal Service; at 1:32