Movistar wins Vuelta a Espana team time trial opener

Movistar won the opening stage of this year's Vuelta a Espana with a commanding display in the opening team time trial in Pamplona on Saturday. The Spanish team was led home by Jonathan Castroviejo, and the 25-year-old pulled on the first leader's jersey in this year's race. Jose Cobo, the defending champion, was distanced just before the line, losing seconds to Movistar's first five riders. The home favourites beat Rabobank into second place by 10 seconds, while Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank) finished 15 seconds adrift, but just three seconds down on fellow race favourite Chris Froome (Team Sky).

"In principle, I wasn't planning to come to this year's Vuelta a España, and that's why I came here with the motivation of helping the squad and giving an extra in this time trial," said Castroviejo. "I'm happy. It's a very important stage win, notching it up here at home was a goal for us."

"We had prepared really well for this TT, we knew the route well and were focused since the very start, and it all turned out perfectly. We had neither a predefined tactic nor a talk on who should have crossed the line first. It was a TT to ride on full steam from the start and that final kilometer on cobbles that made it really hard for us. This win is for everyone that supported me to reach this point and also for Movistar Team, for all the help they gave me this season."

It looked as though Rabobank would take the win until Movistar, the last team to start, rolled down the ramp. Rabobank was only eighth fastest at the first time check at 8.1 kilometres but kept its pace throughout the technical sections that littered the streets of Pamplona before the finish in the local bull ring, and while a number of other teams fractured through the final bends.

Team after team beat Rabobank's intermediate time with Sky, Saxo Bank, Astana Katusha, and Lotto-Belisol all going faster than its time of 9:21. However each squad crumbled on the run-in. An impatient Jurgen Van Den Broeck surged to the front and dropped his Lotto teammates, while Sky, who had set the fastest time at the first check, simply appeared to run out of gas.

Movistar had started strongly though. It was two seconds down on Sky at the first check point but 11 seconds ahead of Rabobank. The only question would be if the team would go the same way so many others and come up short inside the closing kilometres. However, roared home by the local support, and with Miguel Indurain watching from the stands, Movistar demolished Rabobank's time by 10 seconds, finishing in a time of 18:51. The only blemish was the sight of Cobo crossing the line a few seconds back, the defending champion unable to keep pace as his team approached the line. For Castroviejo, it was moment to savour as he donned the leader's jersey in his home grand tour. Incidentally he was making his Grand Tour debut.

There was less fortune for Garmin-Sharp. The American team was outside hopes for the stage win and set an early pace that indicated it might be in contention, but disaster struck when a number of its riders crashed after the intermediate time check. GC contender Andrew Talansky remained upright but the damage to the rhythm was irreparable, and the team limped home in second-last, 1:28 adrift of the winners.

Starting in the Plaza del Castillo, it was Caja Rural who rolled down the ramp to begin this year’s Vuelta. Orica and Garmin soon followed but it was BMC who posted the first threatening time of 19:03. Philippe Gilbert led it home, and it seemed possible that he could break his horrendous 2012 duck that has seen him ride without a win.

However, despite last year's team time trial winners RadioShack falling away, Rabobank was soon on the case, ripping through the streets of Pamplona. Astana, and Katusha came up short and it looked as though Sky would ruin the Dutch party. In the final time trial at this year's Tour, Rabobank's Luis Leon Sanchez was held in the hot seat only to watch Froome and Bradley Wiggins topple his time, and Sky's marginal gains looked on course for a repeat at the first time check and although Movistar hung at two seconds back, all eyes were on Froome's foot soldiers and the nine Rabobank men waiting in the bull ring. When Sky crossed the line in fourth, it looked as though Rabobank was safe but Movistar were still to come and as witnessed at the Olympics, athletes can reach incredible height in front of their home crowds.

Movistar's Eusebio Unzué said, "I'm tremendously happy. Firstly, because it was a victory against very big squads that showed to be pretty balanced against each other. Today, we talked about a crucial factor: mental focus, feeling confident, concentrated on such an effort a discipline like team time trialling obliges you. Everyone was riding on full steam for 19 minutes with incredible suffering."

"The guys were able to cope with it into an evening of terrible heat. I was fortunate to witness many important victories, but from an emotional point of view, this victory is above almost all of them. I couldn't imagine what we would feel after winning here. It was a bit excitement to fulfil a debt we had with all the fans in Pamplona and everyone coming along to support us. We knew it wasn't going to be easy, but the guys were magnificent. It was the best thing that could happen to us in this Vuelta. It was our goal, we accomplished it and there wasn't a better way to start the race."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team0:18:51
2Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:01
3Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:04
7Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:10
8Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 7 - Cell 2
9Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 8 - Cell 2
10Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 9 - Cell 2
11Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 10 - Cell 2
12Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling0:00:12
24Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 23 - Cell 2
25Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 24 - Cell 2
26Richie Porte (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 25 - Cell 2
27Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky ProcyclingRow 26 - Cell 2
28Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 27 - Cell 2
29Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:13
35Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank0:00:14
36Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 35 - Cell 2
37Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 36 - Cell 2
38Bruno Pires (Por) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 37 - Cell 2
39Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 38 - Cell 2
40Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team0:00:15
41Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team0:00:17
47Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:28
48Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 47 - Cell 2
49Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 48 - Cell 2
50Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 49 - Cell 2
51Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 50 - Cell 2
52Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:31
53Allan Davis (Aus) Orica - GreenEdge0:00:33
54Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica - GreenEdgeRow 53 - Cell 2
55Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica - GreenEdgeRow 54 - Cell 2
56Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica - GreenEdgeRow 55 - Cell 2
57Daniel Teklehaymanot (Eri) Orica - GreenEdgeRow 56 - Cell 2
58Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:00:34
59Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Egor Silin (Rus) Astana Pro TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 62 - Cell 2
64Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La MondialeRow 63 - Cell 2
65Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 64 - Cell 2
66John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 65 - Cell 2
67Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 66 - Cell 2
68Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team0:00:35
69Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling TeamRow 68 - Cell 2
70Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling TeamRow 71 - Cell 2
73Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:00:37
74Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team0:00:41
75Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 74 - Cell 2
76Tiziano Dall'antonia (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 75 - Cell 2
77Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 76 - Cell 2
78Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 77 - Cell 2
79Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 78 - Cell 2
80Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 79 - Cell 2
81Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:45
82Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:00:47
83Yohann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 82 - Cell 2
84Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 83 - Cell 2
85David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 84 - Cell 2
86Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 85 - Cell 2
87Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:00:54
88Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISDRow 87 - Cell 2
89Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre - ISDRow 88 - Cell 2
90Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 89 - Cell 2
91Morris Possoni (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 90 - Cell 2
92Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan0:00:55
93Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-NissanRow 92 - Cell 2
94Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-NissanRow 93 - Cell 2
95Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack-NissanRow 94 - Cell 2
96Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Radioshack-NissanRow 95 - Cell 2
97Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:00:57
98William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 97 - Cell 2
99Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 98 - Cell 2
100David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 99 - Cell 2
101Gabriel Rasch (Nor) FDJ-Big MatRow 100 - Cell 2
102Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica - GreenEdgeRow 101 - Cell 2
103Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano0:00:59
104Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-ShimanoRow 103 - Cell 2
105John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-ShimanoRow 104 - Cell 2
106Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Argos-ShimanoRow 105 - Cell 2
107Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Argos-ShimanoRow 106 - Cell 2
108Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team0:01:00
109Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Andalucia0:01:01
110Pablo Lechuga Rodriguez (Spa) AndaluciaRow 109 - Cell 2
111Jose Vicente Toribio Alcolea (Spa) AndaluciaRow 110 - Cell 2
112Adrian Palomares Villaplana (Spa) AndaluciaRow 111 - Cell 2
113Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) AndaluciaRow 112 - Cell 2
114Sergio Carrasco Garcia (Spa) AndaluciaRow 113 - Cell 2
115Javier Chacon (Spa) AndaluciaRow 114 - Cell 2
116Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) AndaluciaRow 115 - Cell 2
117Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:01:05
118Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank0:01:06
119Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale0:01:07
120Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 119 - Cell 2
121Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:08
122Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 121 - Cell 2
123Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:01:10
124Gustavo Cesar Veloso (Spa) AndaluciaRow 123 - Cell 2
125Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team0:01:12
126Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:01:13
127Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica - GreenEdge0:01:17
128Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 127 - Cell 2
129Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 128 - Cell 2
130Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:18
131Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Sharp0:01:27
132Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin - SharpRow 131 - Cell 2
133Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin - SharpRow 132 - Cell 2
134Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - SharpRow 133 - Cell 2
135Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - SharpRow 134 - Cell 2
136Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja RuralRow 135 - Cell 2
137Hernani Broco (Por) Caja RuralRow 136 - Cell 2
138Danail Andonov Petrov (Bul) Caja RuralRow 137 - Cell 2
139David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Caja RuralRow 138 - Cell 2
140Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Caja RuralRow 139 - Cell 2
141Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja RuralRow 140 - Cell 2
142Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:01:32
143Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:35
144Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Caja Rural0:01:38
145Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:01:39
146Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan0:01:40
147Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank0:01:50
148Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:01:53
149Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 148 - Cell 2
150Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 149 - Cell 2
151Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank0:01:58
152Nicki Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 151 - Cell 2
153Thierry Hupond (Fra) Argos-Shimano0:01:59
154Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team0:02:01
155Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 154 - Cell 2
156Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 155 - Cell 2
157Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 156 - Cell 2
158Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 157 - Cell 2
159Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) Caja RuralRow 158 - Cell 2
160Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha Team0:02:02
161Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 160 - Cell 2
162Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:03
163Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 162 - Cell 2
164Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team0:02:05
165Travis Meyer (Aus) Orica - GreenEdge0:02:15
166Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team