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Last Updated: Monday, 4 April, 2005, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Di Luca sprints to Basque stage
Italian cyclist Danilo Di Luca
Di Luca was well supported by his team-mates in Spain
Italian Danilo di Luca made a late burst to win the first stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Monday.

Di Luca's Liquigas team controlled the latter part of the 133km race, which began and finished in Zarautz, allowing him to sprint home with 100m to go.

The Italian held off a fast-finishing Miguel Angel Perdiguero and Alejandro Valverde to win in three hours, 10 minutes and 51 seconds.

The race, which is part of the ProTour series, ends on the 8 April.

Ivan Mayoz and Carlos Zarate had staged an early breakaway but the Spanish duo were reeled in by the peloton with less than 20km left.

The field spread out on the ascent up the Alto de Garate but the Liquigas team grouped together to launch Di Luca to victory.

Another event on the ProTour series, the Ghent-Wevelgem race, gets underway on Wednesday.

Italian Alessandro Petacchi currently tops the overall standings of the 27-leg competition.


Stage one results:

1. Danilo Di Luca (Italy / Liquigas) 3:10:51"
2. Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spain / Phonak)
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Illes Balears)
4. Jerome Pineau (France / Bouygues Telecom)
5. Damiano Cunego (Italy / Lampre - Caffita)
6. David Etxebarria (Spain / Liberty Seguros)
7. Michael Boogerd (Netherlands / Rabobank)
8. Constantino Zaballa (Spain / Saunier Duval)
9. Matthias Kessler (Germany / T-Mobile)
10. Michael Rogers (Australia / Quick-Step)



SEE ALSO
Boonen strikes for Flanders win
03 Apr 05 |  Cycling
Julich seals Paris-Nice victory
13 Mar 05 |  Cycling
Petacchi secures Milan-San Remo
19 Mar 05 |  Cycling
Freire takes ProTour series lead
15 Mar 05 |  Cycling


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