Matthews strikes again in Murcia sprint

Under 23 world champion beats Downing and Appollonio

Under 23 world road race champion Michael Matthews (Rabobank) won the first stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia, confirming yet again that he has the speed and tenacity to win sprints in his first season as a professional.

Matthews was given an excellent lead-out by the Rabobank team, which chased down the break of the day and a late three-rider attack. Rabobank also had Theo Bos in its roster for the Spanish race but Matthews won it, beating Team Sky’s Russell Downing and Davide Appollonio.

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) finished safely in the main peloton in 14th place.

The 178.7km hilly stage was characterised by a six-rider break that formed after just five kilometres. With the Spanish weather wet and cloudy, the peloton was happy to them hang out front for most of the stage.

Carlos Verona (Spain), Pablo Lechuga (Andalucía-Caja Granada), Laurent Mangel (Saur Sojasun), Albert Timmer (Skil-Shimano), Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM) and José María Alcaraz (KTM-Murcia) opened a 5:50 gap after just 28km but that was as far as they got, as Rabobank, Team Sky and Saxo Bank-SunGard rode tempo to keep them under control.

Mangel was the first to the top of the three climbs during the stage and so secured the climber’s jersey, while Timmer won the intermediate sprint after 130km.

However the peloton closed them down and caught everyone except Mangel on the last climb and fast finale. And even Mangel was swept up with 10 kilometres to go as the sprinters’ teams prepared for a fast finish.

Rafael Valls (Geox-TMC), Francisco Pérez (Movistar) and Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare) tried a late attack with three kilometres to go but they were also pulled back, with Valls the last to be caught inside the final kilometre.

Rabobank and Team Sky then took over but the Dutch ProTeam struck again, taking their eleventh win of the 2011 season.

Full Results
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team4:26:09 
2Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling  
3Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling  
4Aitor Galdos (Spa) Caja Rural  
5Martin Reimer (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
6Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
7Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
8Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
9Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC  
10Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
11Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
12Rubén Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:02 
13Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
14Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
15Rene Mandri (Est) Endura Racing  
16Salvador Guardiola Tora (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
17Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Geox-TMC  
18Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
19Carlos Oyarzun (Chi) Movistar Team  
20Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky Procycling  
21Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC  
22Marcos Garcia (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
23Jordi Simon (Spa) Spain  
24Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky Procycling  
25Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
26Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
27Samuel Nicolás (Spa) Spain  
28Rubén Fernández (Spa) Spain  
29Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
30Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
31David Blanco Rodriguez (Spa) Geox-TMC  
32Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
33José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural  
34Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team  
35Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
36Dario David Cioni (Ita) Sky Procycling  
37Vicente David Bernabeu Armengol (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
38Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
39Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
40Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Geox-TMC  
41Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling  
42Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team  
43Higinio Fernández (Spa) Caja Rural  
44Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:10 
45Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:18 
46Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Caja Rural0:00:20 
47Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team  
48Maarten De Jonge (Ned) Endura Racing  
49Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
50Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Endura Racing  
51Francisco García Nicolás (Spa) Spain  
52Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
53Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
54Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
55Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
56Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank Sungard  
57Javier Benitez Pomares (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
58Santo Anza (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
59Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:29 
60Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:31 
61Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
62Pascual Orengo Lopez (Spa) Spain  
63Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Geox-TMC  
64Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
65Eloy Teruel (Spa) Spain0:00:34 
66Manuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo Bank Sungard  
67Manuel Ortega Ocana (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
68Alexey Markov (Rus) Russia  
69Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
70Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Spain  
71Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:37 
72Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Caja Rural  
73Jose Luis Roldan Carmona (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
74Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Geox-TMC  
75Jesús Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
76Oscar Garcia-Casarrubios Pintor (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
77Paul Poux (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
78Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team  
79Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
80Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez (Col) Movistar Team  
81Adrián Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
82Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Saxo Bank Sungard  
83Alexander Wetterhall (Swe) Endura Racing  
84Charles Wegelius (GBr) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
85Serguey Frisanov (Rus) Russia  
86Jaume Rovira Pous (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
87Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
88Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Movistar Team  
89David Zabriskie (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
90Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling  
91Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
92Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
93Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
94Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team  
95Ruslan Pydgornyy (Ukr) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
96Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
97David Clarke (GBr) Endura Racing  
98Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
99Iñigo Cuesta (Spa) Caja Rural  
100Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
101Rubén Reig Conejero (Spa) Caja Rural  
102Florian Bissinger (Ger) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer  
103Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
104Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:13 
105Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
106Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
107Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus) Russia  
108Christian Meier (Can) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:01:30 
109Evgeniy Kovalev (Rus) Russia0:01:32 
110Hector Gonzalez Baeza (Spa) KTM - Murcia0:01:39 
111Pablo Lechuga Rodriguez (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada0:02:12 
112Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:03:14 
113Alexander Serov (Rus) Russia0:03:48 
114Kiril Yatsevich (Rus) Russia0:05:23 
115José María Alcaraz Franco (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
116Philip Schinagl (Aut) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer0:05:33 
117Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
118John Anderson (Aus) Endura Racing  
119Philipp Grömer (Aut) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer  
120Christian Pavitschitz (Aut) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer  
121Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
122Lukas Ranacher (Aut) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer0:08:06 
123Ivan Kovalev (Rus) Russia0:08:41 
124Callum Wilkinson (GBr) Endura Racing  
125Lars Pria (Rou) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer0:10:42 
Points
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team25pts
2Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling20 
3Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling16 
4Aitor Galdos (Spa) Caja Rural14 
5Martin Reimer (Ger) Skil - Shimano12 
6Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard10 
7Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling9 
8Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano8 
9Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Caja Rural7 
10Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC6 
11Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun5 
12Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Skil - Shimano4 
13Rubén Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team3 
14Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team2 
15Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard1 
Sprint 1 - Alhama
1Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano3pts
2Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team2 
3José María Alcaraz Franco (Spa) KTM - Murcia1 
Mountain 1 - Portmán (Cat. 3)
1Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun3pts
2Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team2 
3Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Spain1 
Mountain 2 - Cedacero (Cat. 3)
1Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun3pts
2Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team2 
3Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Spain1 
Mountain 3 - Cola del Caballo (Cat. 3)
1Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun3pts
2Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team2 
3Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Spain1 
Teams
1Skil - Shimano13:18:27 
2Sky Procycling0:00:02 
3Caja Rural  
4Geox-TMC0:00:04 
5Saur - Sojasun  
6Saxo Bank Sungard  
7Rabobank Cycling Team  
8Movistar Team0:00:06 
9Spain  
10KTM - Murcia0:00:24 
11Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
12Endura Racing0:00:42 
13Euskaltel-Euskadi  
14UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:47 
15Andalucia Caja Granada0:01:10 
16Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:11 
17Russia0:02:24 
18ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer0:11:43 
General classification after stage 1
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team4:26:09 
2Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling  
3Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling  
4Aitor Galdos (Spa) Caja Rural  
5Martin Reimer (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
6Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
7Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
8Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
9Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC  
10Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
11Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
12Rubén Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:02 
13Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
14Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
15Rene Mandri (Est) Endura Racing  
16Salvador Guardiola Tora (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
17Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Geox-TMC  
18Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
19Carlos Oyarzun (Chi) Movistar Team  
20Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky Procycling  
21Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC  
22Marcos Garcia (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
23Jordi Simon (Spa) Spain  
24Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky Procycling  
25Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
26Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
27Samuel Nicolás (Spa) Spain  
28Rubén Fernández (Spa) Spain  
29Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
30Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
31David Blanco Rodriguez (Spa) Geox-TMC  
32Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
33José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural  
34Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team  
35Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
36Dario David Cioni (Ita) Sky Procycling  
37Vicente David Bernabeu Armengol (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
38Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
39Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
40Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Geox-TMC  
41Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling  
42Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team  
43Higinio Fernández (Spa) Caja Rural  
44Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:10 
45Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:18 
46Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Caja Rural0:00:20 
47Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team  
48Maarten De Jonge (Ned) Endura Racing  
49Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
50Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Endura Racing  
51Francisco García Nicolás (Spa) Spain  
52Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
53Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
54Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
55Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
56Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank Sungard  
57Javier Benitez Pomares (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
58Santo Anza (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
59Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:29 
60Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:31 
61Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
62Pascual Orengo Lopez (Spa) Spain  
63Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Geox-TMC  
64Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
65Eloy Teruel (Spa) Spain0:00:34 
66Manuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo Bank Sungard  
67Manuel Ortega Ocana (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
68Alexey Markov (Rus) Russia  
69Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
70Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Spain  
71Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:37 
72Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Caja Rural  
73Jose Luis Roldan Carmona (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
74Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Geox-TMC  
75Jesús Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
76Oscar Garcia-Casarrubios Pintor (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
77Paul Poux (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
78Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team  
79Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
80Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez (Col) Movistar Team  
81Adrián Palomares Villaplana (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
82Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Saxo Bank Sungard  
83Alexander Wetterhall (Swe) Endura Racing  
84Charles Wegelius (GBr) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
85Serguey Frisanov (Rus) Russia  
86Jaume Rovira Pous (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
87Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
88Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Movistar Team  
89David Zabriskie (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
90Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling  
91Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
92Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
93Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
94Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team  
95Ruslan Pydgornyy (Ukr) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
96Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
97David Clarke (GBr) Endura Racing  
98Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
99Iñigo Cuesta (Spa) Caja Rural  
100Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
101Rubén Reig Conejero (Spa) Caja Rural  
102Florian Bissinger (Ger) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer  
103Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
104Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:01:13 
105Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
106Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
107Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus) Russia  
108Christian Meier (Can) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:01:30 
109Evgeniy Kovalev (Rus) Russia0:01:32 
110Hector Gonzalez Baeza (Spa) KTM - Murcia0:01:39 
111Pablo Lechuga Rodriguez (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada0:02:12 
112Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:03:14 
113Alexander Serov (Rus) Russia0:03:48 
114Kiril Yatsevich (Rus) Russia0:05:23 
115José María Alcaraz Franco (Spa) KTM - Murcia  
116Philip Schinagl (Aut) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer0:05:33 
117Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
118John Anderson (Aus) Endura Racing  
119Philipp Grömer (Aut) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer  
120Christian Pavitschitz (Aut) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer  
121Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
122Lukas Ranacher (Aut) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer0:08:06 
123Ivan Kovalev (Rus) Russia0:08:41 
124Callum Wilkinson (GBr) Endura Racing  
125Lars Pria (Rou) ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer0:10:42 
Points classification
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team25pts
2Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling20 
3Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling16 
4Aitor Galdos (Spa) Caja Rural14 
5Martin Reimer (Ger) Skil - Shimano12 
6Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard10 
7Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling9 
8Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano8 
9Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Caja Rural7 
10Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC6 
11Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun5 
12Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Skil - Shimano4 
13Rubén Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team3 
14Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team2 
15Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard1 
Sprint classification
1Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano3pts
2Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team2 
3José María Alcaraz Franco (Spa) KTM - Murcia1 
Mountains classification
1Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun9pts
2Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team6 
3Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Spain3 
Teams classification
1Skil - Shimano13:18:27 
2Sky Procycling0:00:02 
3Caja Rural  
4Geox-TMC0:00:04 
5Saur - Sojasun  
6Saxo Bank Sungard  
7Rabobank Cycling Team  
8Movistar Team0:00:06 
9Spain  
10KTM - Murcia0:00:24 
11Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
12Endura Racing0:00:42 
13Euskaltel-Euskadi  
14UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:47 
15Andalucia Caja Granada0:01:10 
16Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:11 
17Russia0:02:24 
18ARBÖ Gebrüder Weiss - Oberndorfer0:11:43 

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