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Murcia (1): A strong first win for Meurisse

Murcia (1): A strong first win for Meurisse

Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans can add a first victory to its counter, thanks to a perfect day for Xandro Meurisse at the opening stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia (14/02, 2.1). The rhythm on the sloping roads leaving the Spanish Coast in Los Alcazares was fast. Xandro Meurisse was part of the early breakaway of eleven riders. Not many teams were unhappy with the composition of this leading group, so the advantage gradually grew past 10 minutes.

The Belgian rider focused on the final. Many riders tried to escape from their breakaway companions, but finally nobody was able to create a gap before the approach to the final 3 kilometer climb. Meurisse rode a strong and tactically good last technical kilometer through the centre of Caravaca de la Cruz, distancing his competitors. The Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans rider took his first victory of the season and will defend the leader's jersey on the final day on Saturday. The peloton finished more than 16 minutes later. This Saturday, the stage relies Santomera and Murcia in 180 kilometer, via the Alto Espuna (10,6km, 3.9%) and the Alto de Collado Bermejo (7,2km,  7%).

Xandro Meurisse:

« When the breakaway is formed after 20 kilometer, you know it’s going to be a long day. But the collaboration was good and all teams were represented with at least one good rider. We soon understood that we had chances to succeed, unless Movistar Team wanted otherwise. I focused on a couple of dangerous riders, but others did the same with me. Despite some attempts, I didn't manage to break away. We studied the final climb well with the team, so I knew perfectly how to position. The final 75 meter were very steep, but I had a slight gap! » 

«  This situation is new for me. I'll have to defend a leader's jersey for the first time. I'm confident about the Alto Espuma, and I also count om my teammates! »

Stage 1:

1. Xandro Meurisse
2. Adam De Vos +0:04
3. Josef Cerny +0:11
41. Maurits Lammertink +17:04
73. Simone Petilli
74. Loïc Vliegen
110. Aimé De Gendt +18:27
111. Pieter Vanspeybrouck +18:29

Provisional general classification:

1. Xandro Meurisse
2. Adam De Vos +0:04
3. Josef Cerny +0:11
41. Maurits Lammertink +17:04
73. Simone Petilli
74. Loïc Vliegen
110. Aimé De Gendt +18:27
111. Pieter Vanspeybrouck +18:29

Photo: Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia