Vuelta a España: Movistar wins Team Time Trial opener

Two years after winning the Vuelta a España’s opening team time trial in Pamplona, the Movistar squad turned in a faultless repeat performance in Jerez as they once more claimed the curtain-raiser of the third Grand and Tour of the season.

The heat in Pamplona two years ago might have been much more extreme - 40 degrees rather than 30 degrees in Jerez - and the course was 4.5 kilometres longer, and a little more technical than in 2012, but the first rider across the line, and first leader of the Vuelta was the same: Movistar time trialling specialist and team worker Jonathan Castroviejo.
Longstanding leaders Cannondale surprised the other favourites to claim second place, six seconds back, with Orica-GreenEdge unable to repeat their victory in Giro d’Italia’s opening team time trial in Belfast, but nonetheless delivering a highly impressive performance to finish a few hundredths of a second behind in third. Indeed, their showing was all the more noteworthy considering how few of their marquee specialists are in the Vuelta line-up.
Movistar’s two leaders, Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana can be more than satisfied with the advantage they claimed over Tinkoff-Saxo and Alberto Contador, whose squad finished seventh, 19 seconds down, while Team Sky were further out of the picture than expected, some 27 seconds back.

“We made a very cautious start, and that was perhaps the key,” Castroviejo, whose last victory was the Spanish time trial championships in 2013. “We saw we were all pulling together well early on, and then we built on that momentum.”
Indeed, Movistar were five seconds down on Cannondale after 6.5 kilometres but they were peerless in the closing kilometres, making up the ground and then tacking on six more seconds of their own to boot.

“It was mainly a question of self-confidence, getting stronger and stronger as the stage progressed,” added Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue. “Overall, it was a great day for the team.”

Movistar’s cohesion was plain to see as they tore through the seemingly interminable series of roundabouts - 17 in total - on the outskirts of Jerez. Movistar’s Italian time trial specialist Adriano Malori and team-mate Jose Herrada had both eased up by the time the navy blue squad swung through the last two roundabouts in the final kilometre, but they were already punching the air in triumph as they slowed across the finishing line behind the rest of the squad.

The big favourites for the victory, World Time Trial champions Omega Pharma-Quick Step, were only two seconds behind Movistar at the half-way time check. But the Belgian squad faded slightly in the second, faster half and on a short course, as BMC’s Samuel Sanchez pointed out later, “even the smallest error or sign of weakness cannot be answered.”
Omega Pharma leader Rigoberto Urán said he was “satisfied” with their fifth place, eight seconds ahead of Contador and ten up on BMC.
Contador, for his part, declared himself pleased with his first competitive outing since fracturing his tibia on stage 10 of the Tour de France. The Spaniard was cheered raucously by local fans throughout his warm-up, and he reported no ill effects from his injury after the stage.
“I'm happy because I could keep up with my teammates and I was able to collaborate with the pace making,” Contador said. “And it’s a good sign that I did not have any pain in the shin during this short stage.”
Froome, meanwhile, admitted that he had “hoped for better” but warned that the race is still long. But if Sky were way off their hopes of a top-three finish with a 27 second time loss and eleventh place, Garmin-Sharp’s 18th place represented an unexpected setback for Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal in a discipline where traditionally the American squad have shone far more brightly.
In comparison to the Giro d’Italia’s opening TTT in Belfast, though, where Martin was unlucky enough to hit a manhole cover and end his race on the first stage with a broken collarbone, the Irishman has three weeks and eight summit finishes to bounce back. 

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team0:14:13
2Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar Team0:00:04
9José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:06
10Damiano Caruso (Ita) CannondaleRow 9 - Cell 2
11Peter Sagan (Svk) CannondaleRow 10 - Cell 2
12Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CannondaleRow 11 - Cell 2
13Maciej Bodnar (Pol) CannondaleRow 12 - Cell 2
14Oscar Gatto (Ita) CannondaleRow 13 - Cell 2
15Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenedgeRow 14 - Cell 2
16Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenedgeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenedgeRow 16 - Cell 2
18Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica GreenedgeRow 17 - Cell 2
19Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenedgeRow 18 - Cell 2
20Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing0:00:09
21Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory RacingRow 20 - Cell 2
22Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 21 - Cell 2
23Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 22 - Cell 2
24Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory RacingRow 23 - Cell 2
25Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory RacingRow 24 - Cell 2
26Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory RacingRow 25 - Cell 2
27George Bennett (NZl) CannondaleRow 26 - Cell 2
28Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:11
29Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:12
36Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Shimano0:00:16
37John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 36 - Cell 2
38Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 37 - Cell 2
39Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 38 - Cell 2
40Lawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 39 - Cell 2
41Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano0:00:19
42Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 41 - Cell 2
43Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 42 - Cell 2
44Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 43 - Cell 2
45Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 44 - Cell 2
46Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 45 - Cell 2
47Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 46 - Cell 2
48Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 47 - Cell 2
49Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Stef Clement (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica Greenedge0:00:21
55Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida0:00:25
64Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 63 - Cell 2
65Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 64 - Cell 2
66Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 65 - Cell 2
67Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-MeridaRow 66 - Cell 2
68Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-MeridaRow 67 - Cell 2
69Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-MeridaRow 68 - Cell 2
70Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:26
71Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:00:27
72Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 71 - Cell 2
73Philip Deignan (Irl) Team SkyRow 72 - Cell 2
74Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team SkyRow 73 - Cell 2
75Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team SkyRow 74 - Cell 2
76Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka0:00:29
77Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) MTN - QhubekaRow 76 - Cell 2
78Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) MTN - QhubekaRow 77 - Cell 2
79Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - QhubekaRow 78 - Cell 2
80Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN - QhubekaRow 79 - Cell 2
81Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - QhubekaRow 80 - Cell 2
82Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 81 - Cell 2
83Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:30
84Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
85Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 85 - Cell 2
87Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
89Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
91Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 91 - Cell 2
93Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 92 - Cell 2
94Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto BelisolRow 93 - Cell 2
95Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 94 - Cell 2
96Vegard Breen (Nor) Lotto BelisolRow 95 - Cell 2
97Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale0:00:31
98Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:33
99Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 98 - Cell 2
100Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 99 - Cell 2