Vuelta a Espana 2022 : Stage 1- Gesink in red as Jumbo-Visma take the team time trial

Jumbo-Visma started the Vuelta a Espana in the manner they finished Le Tour… on the winners podium! The Spanish grand tour kicked off with team time trial in Utrecht and the Dutch favourites were smooth, synchronous and, crucially, swifter over the 23.4km flat parcours, finishing 13 seconds ahead of INEOS Grenadiers with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl a further second behind. First Jumbo Bee over the line was veteran Robert Gesink, who will wear the rojo jersey on home roads tomorrow.

I LOVE a team time trial and it’s been so long since we have one at a Grand Tour – at least 30 riders on the start line had never ridden one in their professional careers.

I understand why this is. The inequality of access to the tech that is so often the key to success. The huge loss of time that can ruin a GC contender’s chance before the race has even started.

I know it’s not for everyone

However, there is something beautiful, almost moving, about a line of riders moving through a trial against the clock.

The effort at the front, the swing off, the move back into line. It is not about individual effort against a ticking second hand, it is about balancing of eight riders individual efforts to achieve perfection. No one going too fast or too slow, it is a show of team togetherness on a par with the smooth operation of sprint train.  Have a look at the last kilometre with the winning team.

Gesink in red

Jumbo-Visma have 3-time Vuelta champion Primoz Roglic on the squad, but I love that the man given the honour of crossing the line first was Dutch veteran Robert Gesink.

The man has ridden on many iterations of this team and thoroughly deserves this moment. It’s not always possible to engineer but I’m happy it worked out this time.

I can’t really believe it, I’m really grateful to the boys. They were crazy strong and I’m very grateful to be in red. It’s definitely one of the highlights of my career. We heard some intermediate times and they were fast, but we still had to make it to the end and anything can happen in a team time trial. But I knew this team had the possibility to win for sure because there were so many strong guys in the group. Obviously, usually my job is to help the team and to help Primož and I think this was a really nice way for them to say thank you for the work of the last years. Riding in the red jersey in the Netherlands tomorrow will be a dream come true.

Team bus happiness review

Obviously, the yellow and black Jumbo Bus will be buzzing. They claimed all the jerseys except the best young rider which went to Ethan Hayter (INEOS-Grenadiers). Roglic is sitting pretty with seconds in hand on all his rivals. INEOS brought 4 Grand Tour debutantes and only lost 13 seconds, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) had to be happy with that. He may be slightly less happy when he looks at the team he will join next year – the EF pinkies had a shocker with Hugh Carthy and Rigoberto Uran already down +1:19.

BikeExchange-Jayco, UAE Team Emirates and Groupama-FDJ will be satisfied to be within 40seconds of the lead.

With no outright GC contenders on their team (and no, I will not consider Remco Evenepoel as one despite his huge talent), the Quicksteppers will feel aggrieved to not top the podium, and particularly to miss out on the second step by less than a second.

Things that made me smile

LouLou back at the races

The purple skinsuits of BurgosBH and their super fans

The Hot Mess Map from Belinda

Any ideas?

Last word

The Vuelta has a strong podium plushie game


Stage 1 results

1 Jumbo-Visma 24:40

2 INEOS Grenadiers +0:13

3 Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl +0:14

4 BikeExchange-Jayco +0:31

5 UAE Team Emirates +0:33

 GC Top 10

1 Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma) 0:24:40

2 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) same time

3 Chris Harper (Jumbo-Visma) s.t

4 Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) s.t

5 Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma) s.t

6 Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) s.t

7 Sam Oomen (Jumbo-Visma) s.t

8 Mike Teunissen )Jumbo-Visma) s.t

9 Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:13

10 Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) s.t

All the Jerseys

Embed from Getty Images

Leader’s jersey : Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma)

Points jersey : Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

King of the Mountains jersey : Chris Harper (Jumbo-Visma)

Young Rider Jersey : Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers)

Team competition : Jumbo-Visma

For the full stage review, go to cyclingnews

Go here for the official La Vuelta website

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