By Antonio J. Salmerón
Caisse d'Epargne team leader Alejandro Valverde was pleased with his teammates efforts in the opening stage of Spain's Vuelta al País Vasco, which saw three of the squad's riders finish in the top ten. Pablo Lastras was apart of an break group of four, which played a crucial roll in the stage, won by Saunier Duval-Prodir's Juan José Cobo.
"The most important thing is that I feel very well," said Valverde after the stage. "My team-mates worked very hard today, so that I am very satisfied for that."
Constantino Zaballa was the highest placed Caisse d'Epargne rider in second, with Valverde taking sixth while Joaquím Rodríguez took eighth place.
Valverde believes that today's second stage will be crucial in deciding who will contend for overall victory in the six-stage ProTour race.
"For me, it is the most important one," he noted. "It will be very hard".