The first stage of this years Vuelta a Murcia started in San Pedro del Pinatar and finished after 197.3 kilometres
in Lorca. Brown defeated the competition with a display of superior power. "We are very glad with this," said Rabobank's sports
director Frans Maassen. "It is a nice revenge for Sunday. Because of this we did not have to wait very long for that."
Brown claims that winning the sprint was very easy, but according to Maassen this does not mean that he won an easy stage.
"The course was not as heavy as indicated by the course profile, but it was still extremely tricky. Graeme would not have
been able to do this two years ago. Now he knows how to ride up a hill and he is also a master in riding in fans, which was
very useful today because of the hard winds."
In the run-up to the sprint Vuelta Espana winner Denis Menchov and Tom Leezer did excellent work that made it possible
for their team mate to excel. "Before that, Dimi and Jan [Kozontchuk and Boven, editor] had worked to keep the two escapees
within arm's length. It was very tense up to the end because those two rode tremendously." This stage victory has already
made this a successful tour for the Rabo ProTeam. "Our starting point was to win a victory, and now we have done that already.
We did not really come here for the general classification."
Maassen believes that there will be chances for a second victory for his team. "I said before we started that we would
have to strike in the first, third, or fifth stage. Tomorrow there will certainly not be a mass sprint, but there will be
on Thursday. However, we cannot make it happen alone, we need the help of other teams for that, also because Bram de Groot
is not here."
Brown took revenge on CSC's Juan José Haedo, who won Sundays Classica Almeria. Haedo was on the wrong side in the
sprint today. "They all shot forward a lot faster at the other side of the road so JJ was boxed in a bit. But that's the way
the cookie crumbles for a sprinter sometimes. The team work was great and we worked really hard to reel in two escapees, who
at one point had a 16-minute lead," explained CSC sports director Dan Frost after the stage.
Brown's victory has also made him the first overall leader.