Australia’s Dennis wins opening stage of Vuelta

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis also won the opening stage of the Vuelta in 2017

Australia’s Rohan Dennis claimed the leader’s red jersey on the opening stage of the Vuelta a Espana in Malaga.

The BMC Racing rider, 28, won the 8km time trial in nine minutes 39 seconds – six seconds clear of Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski.

Britain’s Simon Yates is 29 seconds off the lead, while his twin brother Adam is 11 seconds further back.

Vincenzo Nibali, who was runner-up to Chris Froome last year and won the race in 2010, also finished 40 seconds down.

Dennis was among the favourites for the stage and also won the stage 16 time trial at this year’s Giro d’Italia.

“That was the first goal – to get a win in the Vuelta, especially after doing what I did in the Giro” he told Eurosport.

“In the end you can only do what you can do and just put everything out there and hope for the win.”

It is the first time in nine years that the Vuelta has begun with an individual time trial.

Nairo Quintana, who won the event in 2016, is 30 seconds behind Dennis, with his Movistar team-mate and 2009 winner Alejandro Valverde in 16th place overall.

Australia’s Richie Porte, who missed Thursday’s team presentation with gastroenteritis, ended the day 51 seconds off the lead.

Ireland’s Dan Martin finished 38 seconds back, one second in front of UAE Team Emirates team-mate and 2015 champion Fabio Aru.

Team Sky rider Tao Geoghegan Hart impressed on his Grand Tour debut, with the 23-year-old coming home 24 seconds down on Dennis.

Fellow Briton Steve Cummings was 29th overall, one place in front of Mitchelton-Scott leader Simon Yates.

Sunday’s second stage sees the first of nine summit finishes, with the race ending in Madrid on 16 September.

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Britain’s Chris Froome won the Vuelta in 2017 but is missing this year’s race along with Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas

Stage one result

1. Rohan Dennis (Aus/BMC Racing Team) Nine minutes 39 seconds

2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) +6secs

3. Victor Campenaerts (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +7secs

4. Nelson Oliveira (Por/Movistar Team) +17secs

5. Dylan van Baarle (Ned/Team Sky) +20secs

6. Alessandro de Marchi (Ita/BMC Racing Team) +21secs

7. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa/Team Sky) Same time

8. Simon Geschke (Ger/Team Sunweb)

9. Ion Izagirre (Spa/Bahrain-Merida) +22secs

10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) Same time

Selected

18. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Team Sky) +24sec

29. Steve Cummings (GB/Dimension Data) +29secs

30. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) Same time

64. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +40secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/45310400

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