The opening stage of the Volta a la Valenciana was a tough lung busting 38km team time trial. It was no surprise when the World Champions of this specialized event, BMC Racing clocked the fastest time to win the stage. In 2nd place was Team Sky and 3rd went to Quickstep-Floors.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka has made it a goal to improve on the team time trial discipline this season, an event we have struggled with somewhat in the past. The 38km test that was presented to the riders today was one sure way of jumping into the deep end, also being their first race of the season made the lungs hurt that bit more.
Starting ahead of all the big name favourites for the stage, our African Team could not really rely on the early markers set. Being such a long time trial though, it was important to continually but gradually increase the speed. At the 11km intermediate check we stopped the clock with the 4th best time for the time being. At the finish, we had held our position to the line.
By the time the favourites for the day had all finished though, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had placed 12th out of the 25 starting teams. A fair result to start the season with and one from which to build upon. Our attention will now be placed on the upcoming 4 road stages where a stage victory is the objective.
Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director
It was quite a long TTT of 38 km with some short climbs in sunny Valencia. Today was the 1st race of the year for our riders here, we can say it was a good way to open the chest. After a section of 11 km where the road was constantly heading up, we started to push harder. The team looked good, Ben King, Johan van Zyl and Daniel Teklehaimanot were taking longer pulls. I have to say the guys were committed and gave their maximum for the benefit of each other.