The La Vuelta a Espana got underway with a 7.4km team time trial, BMC Racing would ride away with the stage win while MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were just 30 seconds shy of the leading time, finishing 14th.
While the course was spectator friendly, pretty much running along the boardwalk and beach side boulevard to Marbella, the 7 different surface changes made for an interesting and somewhat tricky parcours. The concerns about the route eventually saw the organisers neutralise the GC results but the stage win was still up for grabs.
Our African team were all too happy to be at the start of our 2nd grand tour of the year and the intentions were to give the opening stage a good crack. Under race conditions though, the dirt roads and wooden bridges had to be taken with relative caution.
Nevertheless our African team put in a strong performance to finish only 30 seconds off the winning time of the day, that of the team time trial world champions. We look forward to the upcoming road stages in sunny Spain.
Johann van Zyl – Rider
It was really fast and over pretty quickly actually. It was almost too quick to take any of it in but I am glad it is done and now the real Vuelta can start, which I am really excited for.
Jens Zemke – Head of Performance
It wasn’t your typical team time trial for a grand tour. I think on TV it was a spectacular race for the fans because over the beach and near the harbour it was beautiful. From our side it was a bit tricky but we went as fast as we could in the conditions and finishing in the middle of the pack, that is a good start for us.