Vuelta a Espana 2013 Results: Stage 1 Standings, Highlights and Recap
The 2013 Vuelta a Espana got off to a rousing start on Saturday as 22 of the world's best cycling teams did battle in a team time trial from Vilanova de Arousa to Sanxenxo in Galicia, Spain. In the end, it was Astana finishing quickest to win Stage 1, according to Cycling Weekly.
Astana come in to post the fastest time in the #LaVuelta team time trial, beating RadioShack's mark— Cycling Weekly (@cyclingweekly) August 24, 2013
Saturday's 27.4-kilometer sprint was the shortest stage of the race, but the frantic pace made for a great deal of intrigue from start to finish. Due to the staggered start, the results were in question until the very end, but Astana turned it on by the 20-kilometer checkpoint and pushed hard to the finish line.
Here is the full finishing order for the Stage 1 team time trial:
According to Sky Sports Cycling, Astana finished with a time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds, and Janez Brajkovic led the team across the line to secure the red jersey.
Astana win the stage one team time trial at #LaVuelta in 29:59. Janez Brajkovic was first over the line and takes the leader's red jersey— Sky Sports Cycling (@SkyCycling) August 24, 2013
Who will win the 2013 Vuelta a Espana?
Although Brajkovic is in possession of the leader's jersey, Astana teammate Vincenzo Nibali is likely the cyclist to watch moving forward from an individual standpoint. Nibali won the La Vuelta general classification back in 2010, and he won this year's Giro d'Italia, so Lo Squalo is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
It seemed as though Radioshack-Leopard had the time trial in the bag for quite some time, as they finished in 30 minutes and nine seconds thanks in large part to a dominant performance from Fabian Cancellara.
RadioShack-Leopard set a new fastest time of 30:09, six seconds faster than OPQS. Fabian Cancellara led them over the line #LaVuelta— Sky Sports Cycling (@SkyCycling) August 24, 2013
Despite getting usurped by Astana in the latter stages, Radioshack-Leopard was still happy with the performance as evidenced by the team's tweet following the race.
Another team that was satisfied following the time trial was Team Sky. Despite the fact that Team Sky was short on time-trial specialists, they finished a solid fourth and have certainly put themselves in an ideal position.
Team Sky get #LaVuelta off to a strong start with the fourth quickest time in the opening TTT. Astana take the win, 22" quicker in Galicia— Team Sky (@TeamSky) August 24, 2013
There weren't many incidents to report in terms of crashes, which was to be expected due to the fact that it was a fairly straightforward stage. A strong Katusha squad had some issues, though, as Daniel Moreno labored, which resulted in Katusha finishing 12th, 59 seconds behind Astana.
Katusha in trouble - down to five riders and last man Daniel Moreno is struggling to keep pace #LaVuelta— Cycling Weekly (@cyclingweekly) August 24, 2013
Katusha had issues throughout the race, which prompted them to drop to the minimum of five riders at the halfway mark, according to Nigel Wynn of Cycling Weekly. Since a team's time doesn't register until its fifth rider crosses the finish line, though, Katusha's four leading riders had to wait for Moreno.
Belkin is another team that had some issues on Saturday, as it finished 10th. Perhaps a big reason for that was Belkin's decision to sit Dutch star Theo Bos.
According to Wynn, a pre-race test revealed that Bos had an abnormally low level of cortisol, so Belkin decided to play it safe by having Bos take a seat.
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