Cycling: Bradley Wiggins attacks in first stage of Volta a Catalunya


Sir Bradley Wiggins wasted no time and made his intentions clear at the Volta a Catalunya as he launched a good attack towards the end of stage one. The reigning Tour de France champions started a 13-man breakaway on the final descent of the day into Calella, then led the group into the finishing straight, but it was Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) was faster at the sprint, ahead of Valerio Agnoli (Astana) in second and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in third. The peloton arrived 28 seconds later.

This stage was decisive last year since a breakaway was allowed too much room and in the end influenced the general classification. This time the peloton kept the day's break under control as Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Cristiano Salerno (Cannondale) managed to build a maximum gap of eight minutes 40 seconds but were caught with around 25km to go.

Team Sky pulled to the front of the pack to prevent attacks over the Alt de Collsacreu climb and Wiggins surprisingly attacked n the descent providing a lively finish to the stage.

Bet365 have Spanish duo Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez as favourites to win the general classification, both priced at 9/5, followed by Bradley Wiggins at 9/2 and Robert Gesink and Michele Scarponi at 16/1.

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