Omega Pharma-QuickStep went into the opening team time trial at the Vuelta a España as clear favourites for victory. In the end, the double team time trial world champions lost eleven seconds to the day’s winners Movistar and key GC rival Nairo Quintana. However, in a day that saw many of the big contenders post disappointing times – such as Katusha and Sky – team leader Rigoberto Uran wasn’t too displeased with the performance.
"We are OK with this result," said Uran. "I think we did a good TTT. The course was quite technical with 22 roundabouts in a little more than 12 kilometers, and we must also remember that this is just the beginning of La Vuelta. We will see what happens in the next days."
Three-time world time trial champion Tony Martin was a key cog in the Omega Pharma-QuickStep train on day one. While he will be doing a lot of work for Uran early in the stages and on the flat days, Martin is also looking towards the two individual efforts scheduled for later in the race.
"It was the first race for me after a four week break," Martin said "So, I knew it wouldn’t be perfect for me. But I think it was really good speed. We have to look back and analyze where we may have lost time, but that is for another moment other than now. I'm happy to get my first time trial back in my legs after some time off, and now we focus on the next stages here at La Vuelta."
Martin has been out of racing since the end of the Tour de France, where he won two stages, including an impressive solo break on stage 9 to Mulhouse and after his efforts there we may see him come to the fore much earlier on.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep also has another card to play in the sprints with Tom Boonen. The Belgian is using the race as preparation for the World Championships and poses a threat on the lumpier days.