Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri) won the bunch sprint at the end of the first road stage of the 2010 Tour de Luxembourg on Thursday.

Visconti out-paced Yauheni Hutarovich (Francaise des Jeux) and Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) to clinch the stage.

Britain’s Ian Stannard (Team Sky) placed a creditable sixth after Sky sprinter Ben Swift was forced to withdraw from the race due to back pain.

Frenchman Cyril Lemoine (Saur-Sojasun) took over the general classification from team-mate Jimmy Engoulvent, who won the opening prologue on Wednesday.

Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) moved up from fifth to third overall, one second behind Lemoine. The seven-times Tour de France winner is using the race as preparaion for the Tour de France in July.

The five-day Tour de Luxembourg concludes on Sunday, June 6.  

Swift’s cobbled crunch

Briton Ben Swift had started the stage well, but suddenly experienced severe back pain during the stage and could not continue.

“Ben started to feel problems midway through the stage but his back really went bad when we hit a cobbled climb towards the end,” said Sky directeur sportif Marcus Ljungqvist.

“It was too bad because his legs were feeling great, but his back just locked up.”

Swift, who took Sky’s first stage race victory at the Tour de Picardie in mid-May, later said on his Twitter feed: “Bad day at the office today. Was a perfect finish with a short climb about 4k to go had good legs. When something went bang in my back.”

With Swift out, Stannard was then nominated to take up the bunch sprint for Sky and came home in sixth.

RESULTS

Tor de Luxembourg 2010, stage one: Luxembourg-Hesperange, 179.7km

1. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) ISD-Neri


2. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Francaise des Jeux

3. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil

4. Sebastian Siedler (Ger) Vorarlberg-Corratec

5. Aitor Galdos (Spa) Euskatel-Euskadi

6. Ian Stannard (GB) Team Sky

7. Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha

8. Oscar Gatto (Ita) ISD-Neri

9. Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil

10. Manuel Ortega (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur all same time.

Overall classification after stage one

1. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur-Sojasun in 4-33-45


2. Gregory Rast (Swi) RadioShack

3. Lance Armstrong (USA) RadioShack at 1sec

4. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil at 2sec

5. Aitor Galdos (Spa) Euskatel-Euskadi

6. Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack at 4sec

7. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) ISD-Neri at 5sec

8. Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis at 5sec

9. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Team Sky at 6sec

10. Sandy Casar (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 6sec

British

52. Ian Stannard (GB) Team Sky at 19sec

Giovanni Visconti, Tour de Luxembourg 2010, stage one



Visconti takes the stage win

Related links

Tour de Luxembourg, prologue: Engoulvent wins, Armstrong fifth

Swift takes Sky’s first stage race at Picardie