Chicchi wins San Luis opening stage

Francesco Chicchi (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) narrowly outsprinted Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) in a photo finish to win the opening stage of the Tour de San Luis, 189.3km from San Luis to Villa Mercedes. In the drag race to the finish line, the pair finished slightly ahead of a select 33-man group with Mauro Richeze (Argentina) claiming third.

The 31-year-old Italian, who was winless in the previous season, started 2012 on a high note as he both captured a hard-fought stage win, also Omega Pharma-Quick Step's first, plus donned the leader's jersey.

Chicchi's teammate Tom Boonen played a pivotal role in the finale as he launched a solo attack with 1.5km remaining, disrupting the lead-out efforts of Saxo Bank and Movistar, and setting up the Italian for victory.

"I must thank the entire team for the great work they did and the trust they placed in me," said Chicchi. "We attacked with about 50 kilometres to go to the arrival, with team Saxo Bank taking advantage of the wind. My teammates did a splendid job and we managed to break up the group into several parts. When I lifted my head I would see athletes in front of me like Chavanel, Leipheimer and Boonen, all working for me, and my only thought was that I couldn't let them down.

"Having a last man like Boonen was super. Tom launched me perfectly. In the final metres I saw that Haedo was catching up to me. So I gave it everything I had and managed to just barely stay ahead of him. It's an enormous joy."

Argentina's Haedo, a three-time Tour de San Luis stage winner, nearly came around Chicchi for the win, but fell just a whisker short. "[Omega Pharma-]Quick Step took control and then my brother [Lucas] helped me in the end," Juan Jose Haedo told Cyclingnews. "The last kilometre was a bit messy because we let Boonen go so we had to chase. It was a good finish but the day was pretty crazy, it was raining all day."

A rainy day at the office

While it's typical for Tour de San Luis stages to be drenched in sunshine and heat during Argentina's summer, for much of the stage the peloton was deluged with heavy rain plus even a stint of hail, which forced the field to pull to the side of the road and seek shelter early in the action.

Local rider Emmanuel Guevara (San Luis Somos Todos), undaunted by the inclement conditions, went out on a solo attack and by the day's only KOM, 41.3km into the stage, his lead was over five minutes. As Guevara's lead steadily increased two riders, Guevara's teammate Maximiliano Badde along with Cesar Berti (Uruguay), jumped from the peloton, bridged the lengthy gap and ultimately enjoyed an advantage in excess of 11 minutes. For the moment the peloton seemed more interested in simple survival, rather than dogged pursuit, as crashes plagued the bunch during episodes of torrential rain and limited visibility.

The ProTour teams, however, eager to set up their sprinters for a bunch gallop, came to the fore and steadily chipped into the trio's lead. After 133km of racing in wide open, wind-swept terrain dominated by expansive acres of agriculture and cattle farms, Guevara, Badde and Berti's lead had dropped to just four minutes.

The writing was on the wall for the catch, especially when Guevara was unable to keep pace with his two companions, and the escape came to a conclusion just over 20km from the finish. Guevara and Badde would be rewarded for their efforts, however, with the mountains jersey and sprint jersey respectively.

Taxing conditions coupled with a spirited chase in the finale split the peloton, resulting in an elite selection containing GC favourites Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). The Chicchi-led first group crossed the line 2:09 ahead of the next bunch, 54 riders strong, while a third group with 69 riders ended the day 4:08 in arrears.

With the finishing time bonuses, Chicchi leads J.J. Haedo by four seconds and Mauro Richeze by six seconds entering stage 2, 145.3km from Fraga to Juana Koslay.

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick Step4:53:18
2Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo BankRow 1 - Cell 2
3Mauro Richeze (Arg) ArgentinaRow 2 - Cell 2
4Luis Mansilla (Chi) ChileRow 3 - Cell 2
5Jimmy Casper (Fra) Ag2R-La MondialeRow 4 - Cell 2
6Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Colnago-CSF InoxRow 5 - Cell 2
7Fco. Jose Ventoso (Spa) MovistarRow 6 - Cell 2
8Samuel Caldeira (Por) Carmin-PrioRow 7 - Cell 2
9Jacob Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcareRow 8 - Cell 2
10Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina WatchesRow 9 - Cell 2
11Yasmani Martinez (Cub) CubaRow 10 - Cell 2
12Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team NetappRow 11 - Cell 2
13Angelo Furlan (Ita) Christina WatchesRow 12 - Cell 2
14Andrey Amador (CRc) MovistarRow 13 - Cell 2
15Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetappRow 14 - Cell 2
16Jorge A. Giacinti (Arg) S.Luis Somos TodosRow 15 - Cell 2
17Jose Serpa (Col) Androni GiocattoliRow 16 - Cell 2
18Daniel Diaz (Arg) S.Luis Somos TodosRow 17 - Cell 2
19Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) LiquigasRow 18 - Cell 2
20Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2R-La MondialeRow 19 - Cell 2
21Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Saxo BankRow 20 - Cell 2
22David Arroyo (Spa) MovistarRow 21 - Cell 2
23Jesus Rosendo (Spa) AndaluciaRow 22 - Cell 2
24Cayetano Sarmiento (Col) LiquigasRow 23 - Cell 2
25Felix Cardenas (Col) ColombiaRow 24 - Cell 2
26Magno Nazaret (Bra) Funvic-PidamonhangabRow 25 - Cell 2
27Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese ViniRow 26 - Cell 2
28Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma - Quick StepRow 27 - Cell 2
29Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick StepRow 28 - Cell 2
30Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick StepRow 29 - Cell 2
31Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo BankRow 30 - Cell 2
32Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) UnitedHealthcareRow 31 - Cell 2
33Paolo Locatelli (Ita) Colnago-CSF InoxRow 32 - Cell 2
34Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick Step0:00:12
35Marco Coledan (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox0:00:17
36Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar0:00:36
37Lucas Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank0:00:40
38Jaime Suaza (Col) ColombiaRow 37 - Cell 2
39Ignacio Pereyra (Arg) Argentina0:02:09
40Nelson Victorino (Por) Carmin-PrioRow 39 - Cell 2
41Alexander Ryabkin (Rus) Caja RuralRow 40 - Cell 2
42Ricardo Mestre (Por) Carmin-PrioRow 41 - Cell 2
43Juan Curuchet (Arg) ArgentinaRow 42 - Cell 2
44Antonio Cabello (Spa) AndaluciaRow 43 - Cell 2
45Adrian Palomares (Spa) AndaluciaRow 44 - Cell 2
46Jose Ragonessi (Ecu) EcuadorRow 45 - Cell 2
47Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) ArgentinaRow 46 - Cell 2
48Renato Seabra (Bra) BrasilRow 47 - Cell 2
49Filipo Salvini (Ita) Colnago-CSF InoxRow 48 - Cell 2
50Matias Medici (Arg) ArgentinaRow 49 - Cell 2
51Alvaro Argiro (Arg) ArgentinaRow 50 - Cell 2
52Cristopher Mansilla (Chi) ChileRow 51 - Cell 2
53Mauricio Frazer (Arg) Start-AtacamaRow 52 - Cell 2
54Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcareRow 53 - Cell 2
55Yelko Gomez (Pan) Caja RuralRow 54 - Cell 2
56Henrique Casimiro (Por) Carmin-PrioRow 55 - Cell 2
57Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja RuralRow 56 - Cell 2
58Sebastien Hinault (Fra) Ag2R-La MondialeRow 57 - Cell 2
59Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Ag2R-La MondialeRow 58 - Cell 2
60Robert Foster (Ger) UnitedHealthcareRow 59 - Cell 2
61Mathieu Perget (Fra) Ag2R-La MondialeRow 60 - Cell 2
62Adrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcareRow 61 - Cell 2
63Rene Gorgensen (Den) Christina WatchesRow 62 - Cell 2
64Frederik Wilmann (Nor) Christina WatchesRow 63 - Cell 2
65Michael Rasmussen (Den) Christina WatchesRow 64 - Cell 2
66Breno Sidoti (Bra) Funvic-PidamonhangabRow 65 - Cell 2
67Jeffry Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcareRow 66 - Cell 2
68Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese ViniRow 67 - Cell 2
69Jonatan Castroviejo (Spa) MovistarRow 68 - Cell 2
70Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) AndaluciaRow 69 - Cell 2
71David Livramento (Por) Carmin-PrioRow 70 - Cell 2
72Weimar Roldan (Col) ColombiaRow 71 - Cell 2
73Edwin Avila (Col) ColombiaRow 72 - Cell 2
74Pablo Seisdedos (Chi) ChileRow 73 - Cell 2
75Christopher Jensen (Den) Team Saxo BankRow 74 - Cell 2
76Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni GiocattoliRow 75 - Cell 2
77Elia Viviani (Ita) LiquigasRow 76 - Cell 2
78Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Farnese ViniRow 77 - Cell 2
79Christia Delle Stelle (Ita) Colnago-CSF InoxRow 78 - Cell 2
80Giairo Ermeti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 79 - Cell 2
81Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Farnese ViniRow 80 - Cell 2
82Arnold Alcolea (Cub) CubaRow 81 - Cell 2
83Angelo Pagani (Ita) Colnago-CSF InoxRow 82 - Cell 2
84Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) ArgentinaRow 83 - Cell 2
85Josue Moyano (Arg) Caja RuralRow 84 - Cell 2
86Eloy Ruiz (Spa) AndaluciaRow 85 - Cell 2
87Andrey Sartasov (Rus) S.Luis Somos TodosRow 86 - Cell 2
88Javier Ramirez (Spa) AndaluciaRow 87 - Cell 2
89Jerome Baugnies (Bel) Team NetappRow 88 - Cell 2
90Vinther Troels (Den) Team Saxo BankRow 89 - Cell 2
91Antonio Cabrera (Chi) ChileRow 90 - Cell 2
92Jairo Salas (Col) ColombiaRow 91 - Cell 2
93Federico Castex (Uru) Uruguay0:04:08
94Claudio Claveles (Arg) S.Luis Somos TodosRow 93 - Cell 2
95Favian Velazquez (Arg) S.Luis Somos TodosRow 94 - Cell 2
96Gustavo Lopez (Arg) Start-AtacamaRow 95 - Cell 2
97Ibon Zugasti (Spa) Start-AtacamaRow 96 - Cell 2
98Alcides Simoes (Bra) BrasilRow 97 - Cell 2
99Ruben Menendez (Spa) Start-AtacamaRow 98 - Cell 2
100Cesar Berti (Uru) UruguayRow 99 - Cell 2
101Douglas Moy (Bra) Funvic-PidamonhangabRow 100 - Cell 2
102Sergio Godoy (Arg) ArgentinaRow 101 - Cell 2
103Cristian Benenati (Ita) Farnese ViniRow 102 - Cell 2
104Giovanni Visconti (Ita) MovistarRow 103 - Cell 2
105Fernando Murgo (Arg) S.Luis Somos TodosRow 104 - Cell 2
106Munio Ferraz (Bra) BrasilRow 105 - Cell 2
107Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja RuralRow 106 - Cell 2
108Edward King (USA) LiquigasRow 107 - Cell 2
109Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Christina WatchesRow 108 - Cell 2
110Erick Castaño (Ecu) EcuadorRow 109 - Cell 2
111Richard Mascarañas (Uru) UruguayRow 110 - Cell 2
112Tomas Gil (Arg) Start-AtacamaRow 111 - Cell 2
113Oscar Sanchez (Col) ColombiaRow 112 - Cell 2
114Segundo Navarrete (Ecu) EcuadorRow 113 - Cell 2
115Gorge Gallegos (Ecu) EcuadorRow 114 - Cell 2
116Jhon Martinez (Col) Colombia-ComcelRow 115 - Cell 2
117Mauricio Ardila (Col) Colombia-ComcelRow 116 - Cell 2
118Maximiliano Badde (Arg) S.Luis Somos TodosRow 117 - Cell 2
119Alfredo Balloni (Ita) Farnese ViniRow 118 - Cell 2
120Benjamin Day (Aus) UnitedHealthcareRow 119 - Cell 2
121Stiver Ortiz (Col) Colombia-ComcelRow 120 - Cell 2
122Ruben Campanioni (Cub) CubaRow 121 - Cell 2
123Cristian Martinez (Arg) S.Luis Somos TodosRow 122 - Cell 2
124Luis A. Martinez (Uru) UruguayRow 123 - Cell 2
125Gabriel Juarez (Arg) ArgentinaRow 124 - Cell 2
126Miguel A. Rubiano (Col) Androni GiocattoliRow 125 - Cell 2
127Wilder Miravalles (Uru) UruguayRow 126 - Cell 2
128Gregory Duarte (Uru) UruguayRow 127 - Cell 2
129Didier Chaparro (Col) Colombia-ComcelRow 128 - Cell 2
130Jorge Soto (Uru) UruguayRow 129 - Cell 2
131Camilo Gomez (Col) Colombia-ComcelRow 130 - Cell 2
132Jonathan Millan (Col) ColombiaRow 131 - Cell 2
133Daniel Rincon (Col) ColombiaRow 132 - Cell 2
134Mariano De Fino (Uru) UruguayRow 133 - Cell 2
135Marcos Crespo (Arg) ArgentinaRow 134 - Cell 2
136Pablo Alarcon (Chi) ChileRow 135 - Cell 2
137Tiziano Dall'antonia (Ita) LiquigasRow 136 - Cell 2
138Juan Ariel Lucero (Arg) S.Luis Somos TodosRow 137 - Cell 2
139Antonio Nascimento (Bra) Funvic-PidamonhangabRow 138 - Cell 2
140Mauricio Neisa (Col) Colombia-ComcelRow 139 - Cell 2
141Juan Esteban Arango (Col) ColombiaRow 140 - Cell 2
142Patricio Almonacid (Chi) ChileRow 141 - Cell 2
143Hector Aguilar (Uru) Funvic-PidamonhangabRow 142 - Cell 2
144Otavio Bulgarelli (Bra) Funvic-PidamonhangabRow 143 - Cell 2
145Cleberson Weber (Bra) BrasilRow 144 - Cell 2
146Gonzalo Garrido (Chi) ChileRow 145 - Cell 2
147Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 146 - Cell 2
148Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick StepRow 147 - Cell 2
149Jesus Hernandez (Spa) Team Saxo BankRow 148 - Cell 2