In the shadow of the 2016 Rio Olympic games, the years third of cycling's Grand Tours kicked off in Galicia, Spain, Saturday, with a Team Time Trial.
In the opening contest Team Sky beat Movistar by fractions of a second, although the opposite appeared to be true at first, in the 28.7-km inaugural team time trial in Castrel de Mino, Spain. This was the first Team Time Trial in a Grand Tour this year.
Sky's Peter Kennaugh became the first leader of the 71st Vuelta on Saturday, as he was the first of his teammates to cross the line. In all, 179 riders began the competition.
Each team time becomes each rider's time for the day, and for the race to now. This puts many of the top riders almost a minute behind Chris Froome from Team Sky, including favorite Alberto Contador of Team Tinkoff, down 52 seconds. Froome has been a busy beaver, he took bronze last week in the Olympics Individual Time Trial.
This was the top ten of the opening stage Vuelta classification:
1. Team Sky (GB) 30mins 37secs
2. Movistar (Spa) same time
3. Orica BikeExchange (Aus) +6 secs
4. BMC Racing (US) +7secs
5. Etixx - Quick-Step (Bel) +22secs
6. Trek-Segafredo (US) +50secs
7. Cannondale (US) +52secs
8. Tinkoff (Rus) Same time
9. BORA Argon (Ger) +57secs
10. Astana (Kaz) +58secs