ELGOIBAR, Spain -- Australian rider Simon Gerrans won the first stage of the Tour of Basque Country with a sprint finish Monday, edging Peter Velits of Slovakia and Angel Vicioso of Spain.
Gerrans, who won the Milan-San Remo race last year, finished the 97-mile mountainous course in 4 hours, 6 minutes, 33 seconds. Velits and Vicioso finished in the same time.
Riders had to negotiate a grade-1 climb to the Alto de Azurki peak and three grade-2 ascents.
Alberto Contador finished seventh with the same time as the leaders.
The second stage Tuesday in the six-leg race is a 105.6-mile ride from Elgoibar to Vitoria.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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