Tour of Spain: Stage 1 TTT

Spanish Team Movistar fastest in Team Time Trial opening to third Grand Tour of 2012 in Spain

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Movistar was the last team to start the opening time trial in Pamplona with defending champion Juan José Cobo and for the Navarra-based team created thirty years ago by Eusebio Unzue, the victory was a huge honour for them. They clocked the best time on the 16.5-km course with Jonathan Castroviejo, the first of them to cross the line taking the leader’s Red jersey.

Movistar won by 10 seconds over three teams; Rabobank, Omega Pharma-Quick Step and BMC while the predicted duel for the overall victory went in the favour of Chris Froome over Alberto Contador. Fifth placed Sky were two seconds faster than Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank which in the grand scheme of things is of little importance in a three week race with so many mountain top finishes.

There were also a few crashes during the stage with the award for the most spectacular of them by TTT specialists Garmin-Sharp when Koldo Fernandez slipped with five kilometres to go and took Thomas Dekker and Michel Kreder down with him.

Astana also missed a top ten place because of their Italians crashing: Paolo Tiralongo crossed the line with an injured foot while Enrico Gasparotto was sent to hospital with a suspected fracture. Among the other injured riders were FDJ-BigMat’s Dominique Rollin and Cofidis’ Egoitz Garcia.

Movistars Eusebio Unzué said afterwards: “I’m tremendously happy. Firstly, because it was a victory against very big squads. Everyone was riding full gas for 19 minutes with incredible suffering. The guys were able to cope with it on an evening of terrible heat. I have been fortunate to witness many important victories, but on an emotive point of view, this victory is above almost all of them.”

“I couldn’t imagine what we would feel after winning here. 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.”

Jonathan Castroviejo, the race leader meanwhile explained: “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 extra in this time trial. I’m really 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.”

“That final kilometre on cobbles 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.”

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, second in the race against the watch, were happy enough after an eventful ride. “The team had a great performance today,” said sports director Davide Bramati. “We had a great time at the check point. At more or less 8 kms to the finish, we entered into a roundabout. The motorbike in front of us took the wrong way — turning left instead of going straight.”

“Tony Martin, who was leading the team at that time, followed the motorbike, it’s a question of instinct. We reacted immediately, but we lost Tony and Zdenek Stybar, who were the two first riders. The rest of the guys continued riding even if we lost a lot of time because of it. Everybody had to brake and find the race pace again.”

“We were 2nd at the end and that. It’s a good result, but we could have done better without this problem. We will fight again in the next stages. The GC is really close.”

For a high ranking team such as Team Sky, 5th was not perhaps what they expected but their director sportif was pleased to see the team begin the race on the front foot. “It was a very good start for the team today,” he said. “The guys put in a really good time and we are very happy with how the stage went. It was important to come through with no crashes and no issues and we ran the stage without any stress.”

“Everyone is confident and this puts us in a really good position going forward. Tomorrow is the first stage on the road and we will look to continue with this momentum. It looks like it will end in a sprint finish so it could be a nice opportunity for Swifty.”

1. Movistar Team – 18:51
2. Rabobank – at 00:10
3. Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 00:10
4. BMC Racing Team – at 00:10
5. Sky – at 00:12
6. Lotto Belisol Team – at 00:12
7. Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank – at 00:14
8. Katusha Team – at 00:15
9. Euskaltel-Euskadi – at 00:28
10. Orica-GreenEdge – at 00:33



RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , , ,