Vuelta a Espana: BMC win team time trial as Team Sky finish 20th

Peter Velits of BMC
Peter Velits acknowledges victory in the neutralised team trial
Vuelta a Espana
Dates: First stage: 22 August (Porto Banus to Marbella - 7.4km); Final stage: 13 September (Alcala de Henares to Madrid - 98.8 km)
Total distance: 3,357.1 km (2,086 miles); 2014 winner: Alberto Contador

United States team BMC Racing captured a neutralised team time trial in the first stage of Spain's Vuelta.

Organisers said on Friday times would not count towards overall standings due to safety fears over the 7.4km route.

Britain's Tour de France winner Chris Froome was one of those to express concern and his Team Sky finished down in 20th, over a minute behind BMC.

The race begins for real on Sunday with a 158.7km stage from Alhuarin de la Torre to Caminito del Rey.

Froome's Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas said: "Our goal was just to stay safe. It's a big disappointment really to have a neutralised stage like that because we were all looking forward to going full gas and having a good race.

"When the organisers said there weren't going to be any times taken for the general classification, we decided to take it easy and stay upright.

"If everyone had have gone flat out, it might have been quite dangerous."

Most of the other race favourites adopted a similar policy as Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde's Movistar team finished ninth with an Astana team containing Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa in 13th.

Team trial results:

1. BMC Racing (United States) 8:10"

2. Tinkoff - Saxo (Russia) +1"

3. Orica (Australia) Same time

4. LottoNL (Netherlands) +8"

5. Etixx - Quick-Step (Belgium) +10"

6. Trek (United States) +11"

7. Lotto (Belgium) +18"

8. Caja Rural (Spain) Same time

9. Movistar (Spain) +24"

10. Cofidis (France) +27"

Other:

20. Team Sky (Britain) +1:11"

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