Vuelta 2019: Stage 1 – Astana sparkle while Jumbo Visma have a nightmare

Crikey! Just as I was thinking the most notable feature of  La Vuelta’s opening team time trial was the salt-bedecked starting ramp, chaos ensued at the tail end of the stage. On a short and highly technical 13.4km course Astana were slick, swift and decisive, despite unhitching their leader mid-way through, to take stage victory and place Miguel Angel Lopez in the red jersey. Disaster struck Jumbo Visma at the midway point when water on the road caused most of the team to crash into the barriers. They collected themselves well, but red-hot race favourite Primoz Roglic still finds himself 40secs adrift before sight of a mountain. Deceuninck-Quick Step pushed the men in turquoise close, crossing the line only two seconds slower. A time that surely would have been faster if they hadn’t had to dodge around the Jumbo Visma team car parked on the course. You can’t say the Vuelta opening wasn’t spicy.

Continue reading