Sir Bradley Wiggins finished sixth on the opening stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

By Kev Monks (featured-columnist) 18 Mar 2013 17:22:06

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The opening stage was a 159.3km stage which started and finished in Calella on a lovely sunny day.

Cannondale's Cristiano Salerno (Cannondale) and Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge) started the first real attack and were 8.40 clear with 38kms gone. Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Movistar and Vacansoleil-DCM started to close them down to a five minute lead but as the race went on that began to drop and when Salerno beat Meier over the climb at Monstoriu Alt with 117kms gone, they were only 3.10 ahead of Rafael Valls (Vacansoleil-DCM).

However on the fifith climb of the day at the category 3 Alt de Collsacreu, their time at the front was over as the peloton stormed past.

Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins, David Lopez and Dario Cataldo along with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida). Gianni Meersman, Valerio Agnoli, Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp), Danilo Wyss (BMC), Robert Gesink (Blanco), Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) and Jose Herrada (Movistar) took to the front with 18kms to go.

The quality of these riders meant they were not going to be caught and it was Gianni Meersman who won the sprint in a time of 3.55.56 ahead of Agnoli, Valverde, Ireland's Danny Martin, Danilo Wyss and Bradley Wiggins, who came in ten seconds back.

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