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"Our option was to do the race in a professional way on the parts that were straight and you could see where you were going, but then to not take risks on the sections with dirt and gravel."

Photo: Sirotti

JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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23.08.2015 @ 00:06 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The 70th edition of the Vuelta a España took place on Saturday along the Costa del Sol with a 7,4 km team time trial from Puerto Banús to Marbella. With seven different surfaces featured on the course, including sections that were dirt and sand that were met with loud complaints from many teams and riders, the UCI neutralized today’s stage for the general classification, meaning there were no times posted for the overall contenders and the results only counted toward the team classification. Team Katusha was the last out of the blocks, and took an easy ride to protect the interests of 8-time Vuelta stage winner Joaquim Rodriguez.

 

"There was no stress today. When we looked at the parcours and saw the road with the dangerous parts, we were happy with the good decision made by the organization to give the same times to everyone on the GC. Our option was to do the race in a professional way on the parts that were straight and you could see where you were going, but then to not take risks on the sections with dirt and gravel. It makes no sense to risk losing someone from the team on the first day," said team director José Azevedo.

 

BMC posted the top time of 8.10, besting both Tinkoff-Saxo and Orica-GreenEdge by 1-second, with the first leader’s jersey going onto the back of Peter Velits, who leads a grand tour for the first time in his career. Team Katusha was 17th on the day.

 

Twenty-two teams of 9 riders rolled along the breakwater to start the interesting course beside the water front. An early best time was posted by Lotto NL-Jumbo but once the heart of the line-up was on course, times quickly fell before BMC posted the time to beat as fifth-from-last group to start.

 

With 9 summit finishes featured in the 2015 Vuelta a España, the race gets right down to business on stage 2. At 158,7 km, Sunday’s stage from Alhaurín de la Torre to Caminito del Rey features 2 categorized climbs and a 4 km summit finish to end the day.

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