Moser makes early mark
Liquigas-Cannondale rider claims the yellow jersey
Last Updated: 10/07/12 7:47pm
Moreno Moser: Finishing kick netted him the opening stage in Poland
Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) won a reduced-field sprint at the end of the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne, a WorldTour event which comes earlier on the calendar this year and features plenty of riders honing their preparations for the Olympic Games in London.
The 21-year-old Italian got the better of Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Lars Boom (Rabobank) to take an early overall lead and the first yellow jersey of the race.
The 179km stage from Golebiewski Karpacz to Jelenia Gora - which featured four 39.2km laps - had been expected to shape the early general classification.
But the field was largely together midway through the final circuit, only for the final climb and descent to then split things up and mean only 36 riders contested the final.
Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Sharp) attacked off the front of the peloton 6km out before he was overhauled by Alexander Kolobnev (Katusha) and the Russian looked like he might just hold off the pack.
But the long uphill run to the finish just proved too much for Kolobnev and he was swallowed up in the final 400 metres, with Moser timing his move perfectly as he surged up the left of the road to claim a clear-cut success.
Norway's Lars-Petter Nordhaug in 11th led home three Team Sky riders in the first group, alongside Colombian duo Sergio Henao (12th) and Rigoberto Urán (15th).
Earlier in the day a breakaway of five riders went clear with Sylvain Georges (AG2R La Mondiale), Jarosław Marycz (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Bartłomiej Matysiak (Reprezentacja Polski), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Federico Rocchetti (Utensilnord Named) the quintet in question.
They were able to stretch their advantage to nine minutes before it came down and held steady at around six minutes.
It was still 3:20 starting the last lap but came down quickly thereafter as Matysiak and Rocchetti dropped off the back of the group and the catch came soon after.
The late splits meant that plenty of the frontline sprinters weren't involved in the finish but they should get their chance on Wednesday when the longest stage of 239.4km takes the riders on a relatively flat route from Walbrzych to Opole.