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"Our goal today was just to stay safe. It's a big disappointment really to have a neutrilised stage like that because we were all looking forward to riding a good TTT, going full gas, and having a good race."

Photo: Sirotti






22.08.2015 @ 21:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Sky didn't take any risks during the opening team time trial stage of the Vuelta a Espana, and ended the day in 20th position after BMC Racing emerged triumphant.


With many riders expressing concerns at the 7.4km beachfront course in the days leading up to the race, the UCI opted to neutrilise the general classification on stage one, meaning Chris Froome and co. didn't have to take any undue gambles in Puerto Banus.


That said, the team still clocked an average speed of 47.5km/h over the pan-flat route which featured sections of brick, sand and gravel, but the time of nine minutes and 21 seconds proved 1min 11sec slower than BMC's winning performance.


As Peter Velits was the first BMC rider over the finish line, it was he who was awarded the red jersey, although the entire field will start from zero when the race recommences on Sunday. Tinkoff-Saxo meanwhile, were pushed into second place by just one hundredth of a second, with Orica GreenEdge also less than a second adrift in third.


Team Sky were the penultimate team to roll down the start ramp, and Vasil Kiryienka dropped back as Geraint Thomas pushed the early pace on the front. The rest of the team continued to ride together over the tricky terrain, and were content to conserve as much energy as possible with the decisive stages still to come.


Immediately after the stage, Geraint Thomas admitted his frustration at the way events had played out, but insists Team Sky will be firing on all cylinders once the racing starts properly on Sunday.


He said: "Our goal today was just to stay safe. It's a big disappointment really to have a neutrilised stage like that because we were all looking forward to riding a good TTT, going full gas, and having a good race.


"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. I rode most of the race on my sidebars because it was so bumpy, and because there was a lot of gravel and sand on the corners. If everyone had have gone flat out, it might have been quite dangerous.


"I'm really looking forward to the rest of the race now. It's the first time I've done the Vuelta and Froomey's motivated. Nico [Roche] is looking really strong as well, and us three that road the Tour have definitely got our heads in the right place. As for the legs, we'll have to see over the next three weeks (laughs). Everybody else is looking really strong so we've got a lot to race for."


"Well the race for the GC is only really starting tomorrow," Froome said. "It's going to be a much, much harder day tomorrow. And what's for sure is that there will already be big gaps after stage 2."



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