Volta a Catalunya stage 1 stalemate game over for GC favourites?

In a race that was decided over a similar parcours by single-digit seconds between the top three last year, the 2:40 minutes that the peloton gave up in today's opening stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya to three escapees could very well be the end for the GC hopefuls. Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), winner of the mountains classification in last year's Tour of Poland, Pierre Rolland (Europcar), fourth overall in last year's Giro d'Italia, and Bart De Clercq, a Giro stage winner in 2011 are not exactly the class of throwaways who should be put on such a long leash, so what happened?

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Laura Weislo
Managing Editor

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Managing Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks. Laura specialises in covering doping, anti-doping, UCI governance and performing data analysis.