Just a month into the new season and the action is coming thick and fast. The 2017 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana kicks off this Wednesday with a long and tricky team time trial. The 37.9km effort, which also contains a classified climb, it a far cry from the individual test that was presented to the riders in last year’s return to the calendar.
Defending champion Wout Poels returns with the number one dossard on his back and is in search of a second title. Backed up by former time trial world champion Vasil Kiryienka and riders such as Salvatore Puccio and Michal Kwiatkowski, Team Sky has some strength for this style of start. With last year’s winner in their midst, the team has been afforded the honour of starting last.
They will face some stiff competition from team time trial world champions Quick-Step Floors and Movistar, who have Jonathan Castroviejo looking after their title hope, Nairo Quintana. The stage will be the first opportunity to see Philippe Gilbert race in the colours of Quick-Step, while they look after the interests of David de la Cruz and Daniel Martin, who won a stage in this year’s race.
Former TTT world champions, BMC Racing do not bring the strongest of line-ups for the discipline but with Stefan Kung in their midst, they will still put up a decent challenge. Orica-Scott can't be counted out with a strong eight-rider team that are hoping to set up the Yates brothers, Adam and Simon, for a strong start to the season. Who knows, maybe after their surprise team time trial success last year, FDJ could pull something out of the bag. We’ll just have to wait and see.
A total of 25 teams of eight riders each will head down the starting ramp, beginning with Team Ukyo at 14:30 local time. Four minutes will then separate each of the teams with the first of the WorldTour squads, FDJ, setting off at 15:22. Team Sky will conclude the stage when they begin their effort at 16:06 local time.
|3||National Track Team||14:38:00|
|4||CCC Sprandi Polkowice||14:42:00|
|5||Isreal Cycling Academy||14:46:00|
|8||Inteja Dominican Cycling Team||14:58:00|
|10||Cofidis, Solutions Credit||15:06:00|
|12||Euskadi Basque Country-Murias||15:14:00|
|13||Caja Rural-Seguros RGA||15:18:00|
|16||AG2R La Mondiale||15:30:00|
|22||BMC Racing Team||15:54:00|
|23||Astana Pro Team||15:58:00|