The Saxo Bank team lined up for stage two of the Vuelta a España satisfied that team leader Fränk Schleck had already gained some precious seconds on many of his overall rivals.
Saxo Bank finished fourth in the 13km time trial Saturday night, 12 seconds slower than winners HTC-Columbia. They might have been expected to do even better with world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara in their squad but made sure that both Fränk and Andy Schleck did not lose any time.
Saxo Bank finished eight seconds faster than Katusha, who have Joaquin Rodriguez as their leader for the overall classification, and 24 seconds faster than Rabobank and Denis Menchov, who hesitated and lost time when Grischa Niermann punctured.
“I'm quite happy about the result and about putting Fränk in a good position in the overall rankings,” directeur sportif Bradley McGee said.
“Most importantly, I made sure not to put any pressure on the shoulders of the riders in order to get through the course without any accidents. There's no doubt, Fränk is very motivated and we're all looking forward to take on the race.”
Saxo Bank finished with just six riders and the riders were a little ragged at the finish but they opted not to take too many risks on the dark corners around the twisting course in Seville.
”We'd been waiting all day to do the team time trial and we're happy about the result,” Anders Lund said after the race.
“It might be the most demanding discipline in the sport and on the flat and straight stretches; we couldn't have put in a stronger effort. The most important thing for us was to get through the tricky turns and to cross the finish line safely.”