Russian Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) managed to hold off half of the Sky team to win the sprint at the end of the opening road stage in the 2011 Tour of Luxembourg.
Sky managed to place four riders in the top six of the stage – Greg Henderson, Davide Appollonio, Mathew Hayman and Briton Jeremy Hunt placed second, third, fourth and sixth respectively. But even though they had the numerical advantage, none could beat Galimzyanov to the line in Bascharage.
An earlier four-man escape group was reeled in by the chasing Leopard-Trek and Sky squads in the final 10km of the 192.8km stage.
Prologue winner Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek) retained the leader’s jersey after finishing in the main bunch. Damien Gaudin (Europcar) lies in second place, five seconds adrift of Cancellara with Jimmy Casper (Saur-Sojasun) in third at eight seconds.
Britain’s Ian Stannard (Sky) moves up to 10th spot overall, 15 seconds behind Cancellara.
The five-day, UCI 2.HC-category Tour of Luxembourg concludes on Sunday, June 5. Italian Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil) won last year’s edition of the race.
Tour of Luxembourg 2011, stage one: Luxembourg to Bascharage, 192.8km
1. Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha in 4-48-32
2. Greg Henderson (NZ) Sky
3. Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky at same time
4. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky at 3 secs
5. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
6. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Sky
7. Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ
8. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
9. Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
10. Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil-Shimano all same time
Overall classification after stage one
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard-Trek in 4-52-17
2. Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar at 5 secs
3. Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 8 secs
4. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM at 11 secs
5. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky at 11 secs
6. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM at 11 secs
7. Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard Trek at 14 secs
8. Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 14 secs
9. Gregory Rast (Swi) RadioShack at 15 secs
10. Ian Stannard (GB) Sky at 15 secs
Race leader Fabian Cancellara
Leopard-Trek and Sky head the chase
Denis Galimzyanov pips Sky’s Davide Appollonio and Greg Henderson to the stage win
Cancellara wins Luxembourg prologue