The British-based Endura team kicked off its 2010 season on Wednesday at the Tour of the Mediterranean in France.
Endura’s team of Ross Creber, James Moss, Rob Partridge, Evan Oliphant, Ian Wilkinson, James McCallum, Gary Hand and Alexandre Blain mixed it with some of the big names of the pro peloton in Robert Gesink (Rabobank), Tom Danielson (Garmin), Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) and Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) on stage one, a chilly 95km route from Carcassonne to Souvian.
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The stage was won by Belarus road champion Yauheni Hutarovich of the Francaise Des Jeux team. Endura’s Frenchman Alexandre Blain was the best placed of the British based team in 58th place at 1-58.
Race favourites Valverde lies in seventh place, Vinokourov 14th and Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r), who wore the yellow jersey in last year’s tour, is in 11th all at 10 seconds from Hutarovich.
The race continues from Peynier today with a 170km route to Trets. Sunday’s hilly final stage finishes on Mont Faron above Toulon.
Stage 2 Peynier-Trets 170km
Stage 3 Greasque – Six Fours 115km
Stage 4 La Londe Les Maures – Biot 160km
Stage 5 La Ciotat – Toulon Mont Faron 126km