Orica-GreenEdge finished third in the opening team time trial at the Vuelta a España but will be thinking of what could have been having occupied the hot seat for 10 minutes only to miss out on victory by a mere second. Tinkoff-Saxo crossed the line equal on time with the Australian team but it was BMC Racing grabbing the victory and with it the first red leader's jersey of the race via Peter Velits. While GreenEdge have won team time time trials at the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, it is yet to claim victory in the discipline at the Spanish grand tour.
"One second," Cameron Meyer said, who was first across the finish for the squad. “It's a little bit disappointing before you are so close to the win, but that's the best we could do on the day and it shows the team is in good shape going into the rest of the Tour."
Stage 1 was neutralised following rider protests over the 7.4 km mix of surfaces on a course that followed a beachfront trail and even ran across the beach at one point which saw several GC teams take it easy but Meyer explained the team was always going in search of the win.
"We went pretty quick in training a couple of times just to see what it felt like," Meyer said. "But until you do it at a real race speed you really don’t know what those corners or sand and bumps are going to feel like. There was a few nervous moments out there but we all got through it safely and we did it as quick as we possibly could as a team."
"It was a stressful 24 hours doing a lot of video analysis and going over the course over and over again," Meyer said. "There was a lot of debate but we decided to give it a go and everyone committed to the job.
"We came home really strong and that showed that our strong guys were really pulling big turns in that last section."
Following some confusion over the neutralisation of the stage and the awarding of the first classification jerseys, Meyer was awarded the white combination jersey and most combative rider after crossing the line first for the team but Orica-Greenedge announced that Meyer may in fact be wearing the blue polka dot jersey for stage 2.
"It's definitely a bit of a different way of starting the Tour," Meyer said. "Third team and you get a jersey, but we will take it and show off a bit of colour tomorrow."
The Australian outfit endured a tough July after the team took the brunt of the opening-week crashes at the Tour de France. Both Simon Gerrans and Daryl Impey were forced to abandon the race due to broken bones and are making their return to competition in Spain. With an uphill finish that favours the characteristics of the two riders, Stage 2 could see either of the duo claim a win and with it the red jersey just Michael Matthews did for the team in last year years race.
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