Vuelta a España (st. 1)
Telefónica-backed squad concedes 16″ against winners Astana as Miguel Ángel López takes leader’s jersey; Blues avoid as crashes as Jumbo-Visma & UAE Team Emirates go down.
The Astana Pro Team notched up Saturday’s victory at the opening team time trial (13.4 kilometers) of the 2019 Vuelta a España in Torrevieja. Colombian Miguel Ángel López is the first holder of the leader’s ‘La Roja’ jersey after a big effort over a technical course, with many incidents which the Movistar Team was glad to avoid, the Eusebio Unzué-led squad completing a solid performance in a challenging test for them.
Avoiding any crashes -like those which affected, between others, the Jumbo-Visma squad of Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk and UAE Team Emirates’ Tadej Pogacar and Fabio Aru-, the Blue train of Valverde, Quintana, Soler, Oliveira, Erviti (all five together at the end), Pedrero, Rojas and Arcas improved over the TTT course, conceding 13″ at the intermediate check and just three more over the second half of their effort, coming across the line in 7th spot at 16″.
All in all, a very decent start for the Telefónica-backed squad, in the eve of already a difficult finish on stage two in Alicante, Sunday, with the steep climb of Puig Llorença (Cat-2) just 25 kilometers from the finish in Calpe (199km).
Cover picture (c): Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto