The Associated Press OURENSE, Spain (AP) — Chris Froome had a successful start to the Spanish Vuelta with Sky winning the team time trial as the grand tour got underway Saturday.
Sky picked up from helping Froome win his third Tour de France in July by completing the 27.8-kilometer trial in 30 minutes, 37 seconds, just ahead of rival Movistar.
While Nairo Quintana’s Movistar held its own, the Tinkoff team of three-time Vuelta champion Alberto Contador came in 52 seconds off Sky’s pace.
“Starting the Vuelta with a 50-second deficit on your main rivals is difficult, but I’m satisfied with how we raced. It will be a long Vuelta,” said Tinkoff sport director Steven De Jongh. “Alberto was feeling good which is the most important thing for us and we now look to tomorrow’s stage.”
Sky rider Peter Kennaugh will wear the red leader’s jersey during Sunday’s second stage, a 160.8-kilometer ride from Ourense to Baiona, which includes one category-three climb at the midway point.
Kennaugh said that his team’s strong start to the team trial was key to taking the race initiative.
“Sometimes we’re a bit cautious and riders want to start off easier, but at the end of the day a team time trial is not supposed to be easy,” Kennaugh said. “You can’t just give away 10 seconds in the first five kilometers as you’ll never get it back.”
The 21-stage race ends in Madrid on Sept. 11.