A police motorcycle cost Omega Pharma-QuickStep the victory in Saturday's opening stage of the Vuelta a Espana, according to Tony Martin. The motorcycle took the wrong way around a traffic circle, leading Martin and Zdenek Stybar astray, and they were never able to catch up again to their confused teammates.
Shortly after the halfway point, Martin was leading the team with Stybar on his wheel, when at the first of a series of traffic circles, “one of the police motorcycles drove not inside, but outside, which was of course longer. I was leading and followed him. Our third rider was the first to notice the mistake,” Martin wrote on his website.
“My colleagues then took the direct way and I was out of it. No more chance to catch up. The team was confused, I was no longer here and also Zdenek Stybar. I think under normal circumstances we would have ridden for the win.”
"We had a good time at the intermediate point after eight kilometers and we wanted to follow the right line,” Stybar said on his website. "We were well under way when suddenly a police motorcycle chose the wrong direction. Tony Martin followed instinctively and I sat on his wheel."
The duo finished 2:01 after winners Movistar. The rest of the team was second, ten seconds down.