Movistar win Vuelta opener

Movistar claimed the first stage of this year's Vuelta a Espana, winning the team time trial by 10 seconds.

Movistar win Vuelta opener
Movistar were quickest around the 16.4 km course

Movistar claimed the first stage of this year's Vuelta a Espana, winning the team time trial by 10 seconds.

The 16.4 kilometer stage in and around Pamplona was not expected to have a big impact on the race. And that proved the case with only small time gaps between the major teams.

The exception was Garmin-Sharp who had riders crash and finished second last 1'28" down.

The big favourites Chris Froome and the returning Alberto Contador will both be happy with their results. Although Contador's Saxo-Tinkoff did lose 3 seconds to Froome and Team Sky, finishing 15 seconds down.

Most the pre-race speculation has centered around Froome and Contador. But it should not be forgotten that there are other potential winners. In fact Froome's lack of rest and Contador's lack of racing means this could be a very open Vuelta.

One potential winner is Robert Gesink, his Rabobank team finished second just 10" down. Joaquim Rodriguez runner up in the Giro is another. His Katusha team were 15" down.

An outside bet might be Thomas De Gendt, if he can repeat the level of performance he showed on the Stelvio in the Giro he could do very well. But he did not have a great start with Vacansoleil finishing 33" behind Movistar. 

The stage winners have two contenders in Juan Jose Cobo and Alejandro Valverde. However it was Jonathon Castroviejo who took the red jersey having finished strongest. He will wear it on stage two when the sprinters will be the focus of attention for the flattish 181.4 km ride from Pamplona to Viana