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Before the start, Mauro Santambrogio signed his autograph card for a BMC Racing Team fan. (BMC Racing Team photo.)
Before the start, Mauro Santambrogio signed his autograph card for a BMC Racing Team fan. (BMC Racing Team photo.)

Pais Vasco, Stage 1: Crash Avoidance

2. April 2012

The BMC Racing Team avoided two crashes in the final 12 kilometers of Monday's opening stage of Pais Vasco to keep its riders for the general classification out of trouble.

Santambrogio Finishes 15th
The first crash happened near the front of the peloton as it was making its way up the the last of seven categorized climbs of the 153-kilometer race. The second happened in the final three kilometers as speeds ramped up for the expected bunch sprint, taking down another handful of riders. "I was a little bit behind and I jumped and made it around," Ivan Santaromita said. "The finish was very dangerous and so was the crash at two kilometers. I was lucky I didn't crash." Mauro Santambrogio, who was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher (15th) on the day and Marco Pinotti, who was fifth overall at this race in 2010, went to the front in the final two kilometers to avoid danger. José Rojas (Movistar) won the sprint. "From the Category I climb (at 75 km) and on, it was a pretty intensive stage," BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri said. "They were always going up and down. And today wasn't even the hardest."