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Sanchez speediest in Varades

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Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne)

Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne)
(Image credit: Franklin Tello)
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French Champion Dimitri Champion (Ag2r-La Mondiale) looks on as Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) signs an autograph on the start line at the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe

French Champion Dimitri Champion (Ag2r-La Mondiale) looks on as Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) signs an autograph on the start line at the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe
(Image credit: AFP)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) won by a fairly large margin.

Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) won by a fairly large margin.
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) finished second behind Sanchez.

Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) finished second behind Sanchez.
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) claimed the first leader's jersey of the Basque Tour

Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) claimed the first leader's jersey of the Basque Tour
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) took the young rider's jersey.

Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) took the young rider's jersey.
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Yaroslav Popovych (Radioshack) for the mountains classification

Yaroslav Popovych (Radioshack) for the mountains classification
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Yaroslac Popovych of RadioShack was the king of the mountain after stage 1 in the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Yaroslac Popovych of RadioShack was the king of the mountain after stage 1 in the Circuit de la Sarthe.
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Luis Leon Sanchez leads the points competition after winning stage 1.

Luis Leon Sanchez leads the points competition after winning stage 1.
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne)

Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne)
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Slovenian Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) collects the best young rider's jersey

Slovenian Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) collects the best young rider's jersey
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Espargne) in the leader's jersey after outsprinting the field on stage one

Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Espargne) in the leader's jersey after outsprinting the field on stage one
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) takes the sprint win on stage 1.

Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) takes the sprint win on stage 1.
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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The Francaise des Jeux team rode for its sprinter Sebastien Chavanel.

The Francaise des Jeux team rode for its sprinter Sebastien Chavanel.
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Sebastien Chavanel had his FdJ team at his disposal but could only come 4th.

Sebastien Chavanel had his FdJ team at his disposal but could only come 4th.
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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The RadioShack team with star Lance Armstrong

The RadioShack team with star Lance Armstrong
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Yury Trofimov and Kristjan Fajt (Adria Mobil) in the breakaway.

Yury Trofimov and Kristjan Fajt (Adria Mobil) in the breakaway.
(Image credit: Fabrice Lambert/sportbreizh.com)
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Luis Leon Sanchez will start stage 2 with the yellow jersey at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Luis Leon Sanchez will start stage 2 with the yellow jersey at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
(Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)
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Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) gets out of the saddle on stage one at the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe

Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) gets out of the saddle on stage one at the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe
(Image credit: AFP)

Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) claimed a sprint victory in the opening stage of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe - Pays de la Loire in Varades, France on Tuesday.

The Spaniard, currently first in the International Cycling Union's world rankings, upstaged more established sprint rivals Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) and Anthony Ravard (Ag2R-La Mondiale) to claim stage honours and the first leader's jersey of the race.

The victory was Sanchez's third stage win of the season, following his victory at the Tour Down Under in January and indvidual time trial triumph at the Tour of the Algarve in February.

"The stage was very fast," said Sanchez. "Before the finish I talked to Mathieu Drujon who is the sprinter for our team in this race. He told me that is was not feeling good enough to sprint himself but that he wanted to help me.

"There was a curve at 400 meters from the finish. I was on Arnaud Coyot's wheel with Drujon in third position. We launched the sprint at that time and were immediately fifteen meters ahead of the bunch, which was sufficient to prevent the pack to come back."

Sanchez will now try to defend his overall lead in the race, although he knows it will be a challenge.

"I am the leader now and we will try to defend that jersey. It will not be easy because we only have six riders on the team, which means that it will be very difficult to control the situation.

"Nevertheless we are here with a strong team even if we unfortunately lost Iván Gutiérrez who had to quit the race today after suffering from allergy and we will fight to try and win the race."

"I know the Circuit de la Sarthe pretty well and I can say that it is absolutely not an easy race. The stages are rather difficult with plenty of short hills and tomorrow two half stages are in the program. The first one will include 97 kilometers and in the afternoon there is a short individual time trial, less than seven kilometers."

French teams take flight on home soil

Earlier in the stage, Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2R-La Mondiale) had been the first rider to gain any time over his rivals as he attacked after 23 kilometres. But with 185 kilometres on the agenda his task was always likely to be a futile one as he was reabsorbed after five kilometres.

After several parries from the peloton, a group of ten riders established the first meaningful escape. Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), Christophe Moreau (Caisse d'Epargne), Sebastian Minard (Cofidis), Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack), Jean-Marc Marino (Saur-Sojasun), Philip Deignan (Cervelo), Thierry Hupond (Skil-Shimano), Steve Morabito (BMC Racing Team) and Uros Murn (Adria Mobil) going clear after 58 kilometres.

The group fought hard to stretch their advantage beyond 30 seconds, but the peloton, not satisfied with the make up of the escape, refused to let them go, and by the feed zone at 92 kilometres they had reeled in all but three of the leaders. Moreau, Popovych and Minard the most resistant to the peloton's advances.

The trio's slim advantage was given a boost by the arrival of Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Kristjan Fajt (Adria Mobil), and subsequently Angel Madrazo (Caisse d'Epargne), Xavier Florencio (Cervelo) and Albert Timmer (Skil-Shimano).

With eight men now out in front, a 24 rider chase group established itself from the peloton. Within two kilometres these men had joined the leaders to create a huge leading group. The peloton, unimpressed by the huge numbers ahead began to cut down the 1:10 advantage held by the leaders. Sensing the delicacy of their situation Fajt and Yury Trofimov (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) established a fresh break.

The duo was able to build up a 2:20 buffer with 30 kilometres to race, Trofimov's Bbox squad keeping tabs on the front of the peloton. However, they couldn't stop the waves of Ag2-La Mondiale and Française des Jeux riders who came to the front, determined to spoil the day for their French rivals ahead.

With 20 kilometres to race the leader's advantage had dropped to 1:40, and 10 kilometres later the gap was 0:55.

Swinging underneath the 5-to-go banner, Fajt and Trofimov were clinging to only 12 seconds, with the sprinters teams all lending a hand in the chase. Two kilometres later, the pair was caught. With a sprint inevitable, the race had one more surprise in store as Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) rushed ahead of the peloton to snatch a win to impress the team's French sponsor.

Full Results
1Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne4:09:15
2Marko Kump (Slo) Adria Mobil
3Anthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
4Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
5Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
6Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox
7Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
8Xavier Florencio (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
9Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
10Jean Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
11Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
12Nadir Haddou (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
13Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
14Alexander Porsev (Rus) Itera - Katusha
15Cyril Gautier (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
16Alexandre Moos (Swi) BMC Racing Team
17Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
18Lilian Jegou (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
19Tiago Machado (Por) Team Radioshack
20Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
21Florian Stalder (Swi) BMC Racing Team
22Alexander Mironov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
23Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
24Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack
25Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2R La Mondiale
26Bjorn Selander (USA) Team Radioshack
27Julien Simon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
28Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Cervelo Test Team
29Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
30Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil - Shimano
31Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano
32Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
33Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
34Yury Trofimov (Rus) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
35Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervelo Test Team
36Pierre Rolland (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
37Marcel Wyss (Swi) Cervelo Test Team
38Mitja Mahoric (Slo) Adria Mobil
39Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
40Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano
41Anthony Roux (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
42Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano
43Romain Hardy (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
44Rémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
45Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack
46Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
47Arthur Vichot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
48Matej Gnezda (Slo) Adria Mobil
49Angel Madrazo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
50Marco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox
51Federico Canuti (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox
52Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
53Kristjan Fajt (Slo) Adria Mobil
54Uros Murn (Slo) Adria Mobil
55Freddy Bichot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
56Dimitri Champion (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
57Julien Mazet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
58Ted King (USA) Cervelo Test Team
59Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
60Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
61John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
62Dmitry Kosyakov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
63Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
64Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
65Cyril Bessy (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
66Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
67Andrey Solomennikov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
68Inigo Cuesta (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
69Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
70Blaz Jarc (Slo) Adria Mobil
71Yann Huguet (Fra) Skil - Shimano
72Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
73Jérémy Roy (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
74Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
75José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Team Radioshack
76Maxime Mederel (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
77Sergey Rudaskov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
78Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox
79Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
80Jeffry Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
81Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
82Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:00:32
83Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:04:09
84Piet Rooljakkers (Ned) Skil - Shimano
85Filippo Savini (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox0:11:08
86Stanislav Starodubtsev (Rus) Itera - Katusha0:19:39

General classification after stage 1
1Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne4:09:05
2Marko Kump (Slo) Adria Mobil0:00:04
3Yury Trofimov (Rus) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
4Anthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:00:06
5Kristjan Fajt (Slo) Adria Mobil
6Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne0:00:07
7Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack0:00:08
8Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne0:00:09
9Lilian Jegou (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
10Anthony Roux (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
11Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux0:00:10
12Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
13Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox
14Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
15Xavier Florencio (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
16Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
17Jean Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
18Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
19Nadir Haddou (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
20Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
21Alexander Porsev (Rus) Itera - Katusha
22Cyril Gautier (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
23Alexandre Moos (Swi) BMC Racing Team
24Tiago Machado (Por) Team Radioshack
25Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
26Florian Stalder (Swi) BMC Racing Team
27Alexander Mironov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
28Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
29Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack
30Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2R La Mondiale
31Bjorn Selander (USA) Team Radioshack
32Julien Simon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
33Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Cervelo Test Team
34Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
35Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil - Shimano
36Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano
37Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
38Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
39Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervelo Test Team
40Pierre Rolland (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
41Marcel Wyss (Swi) Cervelo Test Team
42Mitja Mahoric (Slo) Adria Mobil
43Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano
44Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano
45Romain Hardy (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
46Rémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
47Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
48Arthur Vichot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
49Matej Gnezda (Slo) Adria Mobil
50Angel Madrazo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
51Marco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox
52Federico Canuti (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox
53Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
54Uros Murn (Slo) Adria Mobil
55Freddy Bichot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
56Dimitri Champion (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
57Julien Mazet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
58Ted King (USA) Cervelo Test Team
59Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne
60Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
61John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
62Dmitry Kosyakov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
63Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
64Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
65Cyril Bessy (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
66Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
67Andrey Solomennikov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
68Inigo Cuesta (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
69Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
70Blaz Jarc (Slo) Adria Mobil
71Yann Huguet (Fra) Skil - Shimano
72Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
73Jérémy Roy (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
74Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
75José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Team Radioshack
76Maxime Mederel (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
77Sergey Rudaskov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
78Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox
79Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
80Jeffry Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
81Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
82Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:00:42
83Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:04:19
84Piet Rooljakkers (Ned) Skil - Shimano
85Filippo Savini (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox0:11:18
86Stanislav Starodubtsev (Rus) Itera - Katusha0:19:49

Young rider classification
1Marko Kump (Slo) Adria Mobil
2Anthony Roux (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux0:00:05
3Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 930:00:06
4Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
5Alexander Porsev (Rus) Itera - Katusha
6Cyril Gautier (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
7Bjorn Selander (USA) Team Radioshack
8Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano
9Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
10Pierre Rolland (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
11Marcel Wyss (Swi) Cervelo Test Team
12Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano
13Romain Hardy (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
14Rémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
15Arthur Vichot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
16Angel Madrazo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
17Dmitry Kosyakov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
18Cyril Bessy (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
19Andrey Solomennikov (Rus) Itera - Katusha
20Blaz Jarc (Slo) Adria Mobil
21Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
22Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox
23Stanislav Starodubtsev (Rus) Itera - Katusha0:19:45

Points classification
1Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne25pts
2Marko Kump (Slo) Adria Mobil20
3Anthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale16
4Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux14
5Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 9312
6Yury Trofimov (Rus) Bbox Bouygues Telecom10
7Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox10
8Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun9
9Xavier Florencio (Spa) Cervelo Test Team8
10Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne7
11Kristjan Fajt (Slo) Adria Mobil6
12Jean Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller6
13Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne5
14Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 935
15Nadir Haddou (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 934
16Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack3
17Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne3
18Alexander Porsev (Rus) Itera - Katusha2
19Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne1
20Lilian Jegou (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller1
21Anthony Roux (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux1
22Cyril Gautier (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom1

Mountains classification
1Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack14pts
2Yury Trofimov (Rus) Bbox Bouygues Telecom8
3Kristjan Fajt (Slo) Adria Mobil6
4Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne6
5Xavier Florencio (Spa) Cervelo Test Team3
6Angel Madrazo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne1
7Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux1

Teams classification
1Big Mat - Auber 9312:27:45
2Caisse D'epargne
3Bmc Racing Team
4Cofidis,Le Credit En Lig.
5Team Radioshack
6Cervelo Test Team
7Bretagne - Schuller
8Bbox Bouygues Telecom
9Saur - Sojasun
10Ag2R La Mondiale
11Adria Mobil
12Francaise Des Jeux
13Itera - Katusha
14Skil - Shimano
15Colnago - Csf Inox

 

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