Italian Danilo Napolitano took his first win of the season in Spain's Vuelta a Andalucía Monday. The Team Katusha sprinter won ahead of Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) and Belgian Champion Jürgen Roelandts (Silence-Lotto) in the 169-kilometre stage one.
"It's easy to win with two riders like Filippo Pozzato and Gert Steegmans as a lead-out. You find yourself in the best position for the sprint without having to use any energy to battle for this or that wheel," said the rider from Sicilia.
Dutchman Joost Posthuma of Rabobank took the race leadership with his second place in the opening time trial and eighth place in stage one.
Napolitano won six races last year when he was under contract with Team Lampre. He signed with Russian team Katusha over the winter and is one of the main sprinters alongside Steegmans.
"My condition is better than last year. My weight is less and I'm faster. Now the main goal is to win as much as possible, starting from tomorrow [today - ed.]."
The Vuelta a Andalucía is a five day race that is in its 55th year. Today the race continues with a 164.2-kilometre stage from Vegas del Genil to Córdoba.