Another race, another big debut: Columbia HTC’s star sprinter Mark Cavendish finally got on the bike in anger today, but spent the stage trying to find his legs. The 148km from Livorno to Rosignano Solvay will, however, be some crucial miles for him as he prepares for the Milan-Sanremo next weekend.
Eventually it was Milram’s Linas Gerdemann who won this opening day of seven, though the 202km through filthy conditions seemed to sap the peloton’s will to sprint. BMC and Sky, both working well, pushed the peloton for the last 20km, but a four-man break led down some slippery descents.
They were caught by the peloton on the final corner yet nobody in the bunch took the initiative to sprint and the four men slipped clear again. Paolini led the charge but Gerdemann came through to beat Lastras Garcia on the line
Standings after the first stage:
1. Linas Gerdemann (MIL)
2. Pablo Lastras Garcia (GCE)
3. Matti Ã‚Â Breschel (SAX)
4. Lucca Paolini (ASA)