Vuelta a Espana: Movistar win stage one team time trial to give Jonathan Castroviejo race lead
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 23/08/14 9:30pm
Chris Froome lost early time to his rivals at the Vuelta a Espana as Movistar won stage one's team time trial to hand Jonathan Castroviejo the race lead.
The Spanish squad negotiated a flat but technical 12.6km course in Jerez de la Frontera in a time of 14min 13sec, which was six seconds faster than second-placed Cannondale and third-placed Orica-GreenEdge.
Castroviejo was their first man over the finish line and consequently takes over in the red jersey for the second time in his career, having also led Movistar to victory in the stage one team time trial at the 2012 Vuelta.
Team Sky finished 27 seconds adrift in 11th place, which leaves Froome with an early deficit to Movistar’s Nairo Quintana, who is the favourite for overall victory.
Alberto Contador also lost time to Quintana after his Tinkoff-Saxo team finished 19 seconds down, while Joaquim Rodriguez finds himself 38 seconds back following a poor performance from his Katusha squad.
Castroviejo said afterwards: "We all nine rode to perfection. It was my honour to take the jersey, but this is a prize for the whole team. Without my team-mates, it would have been impossible. I couldn't have imagined I would be leading the race again. The jersey is mine now, but the goal is keeping it within the team."
The stage took place in warm evening sunshine on Spain’s south coast and although road conditions were ideal, the teams had to navigate their way around no fewer than 21 roundabouts.
MTN-Qhubeka, the South African team who are making their debut at a Grand Tour, set the early pace, but Giant-Shimano soon took over at the top of the standings with a time of 14min 29sec.
Orica-GreenEdge, whose team includes 22-year-old Englishman Adam Yates, then shaved ten seconds off that mark, only to be knocked off the lead by Cannondale by just one tenth of a second.
It looked like the Italian squad would hang on for victory after Trek Factory Racing, Team Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo all failed to better their mark, but Movistar overturned a five-second deficit at the 6.5km intermediate time split to deny them at the death and claim an impressive victory.
Stage one result
1 Movistar, 14min 13sec
2 Cannondale +6
3 Orica-GreenEdge +6
4 Trek Factory Racing +9
5 Omega Pharma - Quick-Step +11
6 Giant-Shimano +16
7 Tinkoff-Saxo +19
8 Belkin +19
9 BMC Racing +21
10 Lampre-Merida +25
11 Team Sky +27
1 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar, 14:13
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, same time
3 Andrey Amador (Cos) Movistar, st
4 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar, st
5 Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar, st
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, st
7 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar, st
8 Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar, +4
9 Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar, +6
10 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondake, +6
17 Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEdge, +6
30 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, +11
45 Alberto Contador (Spa) +19
72 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +27
109 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha, +38