Lopez leads Astana to victory in Vuelta time trial

Astana cycling team

The Astana team – based in Kazakhstan – has eight Grand Tour final victories

Colombia’s Miguel Angel Lopez led the Astana team to the first red jersey of the Vuelta a Espana in a dramatic opening team time trial.

Favourites Jumbo-Visma endured a nightmare start to the final Grand Tour of the season when four riders from the eight-man team came off their bikes.

Six Astana riders finished in a time of 14 minutes and 51 seconds.

Jumbo-Visma regrouped to reduce their deficit to 40 seconds at the end of the 13.4km race against the clock.

Dutch team Jumbo-Visma said its riders crashed because of water on the road – but none had suffered serious injuries.

“There was some water on the road in one of the bends,” sporting director Addy Engels revealed after Saturday’s stage.

“We couldn’t react fast enough on full speed and four of our riders crashed. Our goal remains the same. We keep fighting.”

Belgian team Deceuninck – Quick-Step finished two seconds behind Astana, with Sunweb, from Germany, in third.

Britain’s Team Ineos, without Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, came 11th, 26 seconds adrift of the leaders.

Sunday’s second stage is a 199km ride from Benidorm to Calpe.

Stage 1 result:

1. Astana 14mins 51secs

2. Deceuninck – Quick-Step +2secs

3. Sunweb +5secs

4. EF Education First +7secs

5. Bora-Hansgrohe +13secs

6. CCC +15secs

7. Movistar +16secs

8. Groupama-FDJ Same time

9. Mitchelton-Scott +18secs

10. Lotto Soudal +19secs

General classification:

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) 14mins 51secs

2. Dario Cataldo (Ita/Astana) Same time

3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana)

4. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa/Astana)

5. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa/Astana)

6. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa/Astana)

7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel/Deceuninck – Quick-Step) +2secs

8. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned/Deceuninck – Quick-Step) Same time

9. Zdenek Stybar (Cze/Deceuninck – Quick-Step)

10. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg/Deceuninck – Quick-Step)

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49462767

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