Simone Ponzi (Astana) took the 139km first stage of the Vuelta a Burgos 2013 to Mirador del Castillo, after outsprinting fellow Italian Daniele Ratto (Cannondale) in an uphill finish.

Ponzi took advantage of a selfless effort from Giro D’Italia 2013 winner Vincenzo Nibali, who guided his teammate through a tricky final kilometre, and will view this as an important warm-up race before the final grand tour of the year, the Vuelta a Espana.

The day was blighted with crashes though, with Team Sky suffering significant losses as Joe Dombrowski, Ian Boswell and Christian Knees were all forced to abandon the race after taking hard falls

Early on at 15km, a breakaway group consisting of six riders including Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky), Paolo Tiralongo (Astana), Jorge Azanza(Euskaltel-Euskadi), Christian Meier(Orica-GreenEdge), Fabricio Ferrari(Caja Rural) and Iliart Zuazubiskar(Euskaltel-Euskadi), gained a maximum lead of 2’50” ahead of the peloton, before the whole race finally came back together with 12km to go.

FDJ and Movistar took the incentive, leading on the front of the peloton for significant turns and caught the breakaway riders just before the first ascent of the final category-three climb of the day.

While a number of riders made attacks on the descent before the second turn on the climb, it was Astana who put in the hard work to set-up Ponzi, who took the final sprint from Ratto after the Cannondale rider made the first attack towards the finish line.

The victory leaves Ponzi in the lead of the overall classification, with four stages to go.

Stage one result


1.Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana, 3:16:34
2. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale, same time
3. Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus) Katusha, st
4. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ, st
5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky, +3sec
6. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEDGE, st
7. Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ, +5
8. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini, st
9. Mikael Cherel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
10. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +5

General Classification

1. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana, 3:16:34
2. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale, same time
3. Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus) Katusha, st
4. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ, st
5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky, +3sec
6. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEDGE, st
7. Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ, +5
8. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini, st
9. Mikael Cherel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
10. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale,+5