International Cycling

BMC team win Vuelta opening stage

2015-08-22 21:41
Cycling (File)

Marbella - American team BMC Racing claimed victory in a neutralised team time trial in the first stage of Spain's Vuelta on Saturday.

Slovakian Peter Velits takes the leader's red jersey as he was first to cross the line with Saxo-Tinkoff second and Orica-GreenEdge third.

Organisers announced on Friday that times from the 7.4km stage from Puerto Banus to Marbella would not count towards the general classification due to safety concerns over the route.

The coastal route included a narrow wooden bridge and a potentially hazardous dirt track.

Chris Froome, who is hoping to become just the third man to win the Tour de France and the Vuelta in the same year, had expressed his concern at the route and cruised through the stage without taking any risks as Team Sky finished down in 20th, over a minute behind BMC.

"Our goal today was just to stay safe. It's a big disappointment really to have a neutralised stage like that because we were all looking forward to riding a good TTT, going full gas, and having a good race," said Froome's Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas.

"When the organisers said there weren't going to be any times taken for the GC, we decided to take it easy and stay upright.

"If everyone had have gone flat out, it might have been quite dangerous."

Most of the other race favourites did likewise as Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde's Movistar team finished ninth with an Astana team containing Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa down in 13th.

The race gets underway for real on Sunday with a 158.7km ride from Alhuarin de la Torre to Caminito del Rey.

Read more on:    vuelta a espana  |  cycling


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.