Vuelta a España • Stage1

Puerto Banús - Marbella

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Slovakia's Peter Velits will be in the red jersey tomorrow after crossing the line in pole position for BMC. But no times will count for the general classification - only the team classification.


BMC are the winners of this opening TTT with a time of 8:10 - one second ahead of Tinkoff-Saxo and two seconds ahead of Orica-GreenEdge.


Katusha are the last team to cross the line, 54 seconds down on BMC, to bring this rather surreal neutralised TTT to a close.


Sky's Geraint Thomas: "Big disappointment really. Everyone was looking forward to a good TTT but when the organisers say it's not going to be for GC then it's pretty obvious that we're going to take it safe. There was gravel and sand on the corners and we were not going to risk it. I'm looking forward to the race - it's the first time I've done the Vuelta, Froomey is motivated, Nico (Roche) too."


Sky come home more than a minute down on the leaders, BMC. Their time of 9:21 would be a concern was this a competitive TTT but as it is, Froome will not be trailing Van Garderen by 1:11 tonight.


Chris Froome, carrying a bit more weight than usual, is on the back for Sky. He'll be in two minds as to whether to tide hard or take it easy - remember, this TTT has been neutralised owing to safety concerns regarding the myriad surface changes on the narrow coastal course, so not everyone is going full gas.


The Katusha team of Joaquim Rodriguez are the next to roll down the ramp - and could this be the last chance Purito has to win a Grand Tour?


Movistar come home 24 seconds down so it's looking good fro BMC and Velits.


Team Sky roll down the ramp and they are in early disarray with two riders - including Chris Froome - riding clear, and Vasil Kiryienka being momentarily distanced on the pier.


Tejay Van Garderen: "We're happy. The race is not over yet but we beat a lot of good teams and we're confident we can take it to the end. It was a tricky course and we were on the fence as to whether we should take it hard, but we're the world champions and now it looks like Peter Velits may be in the red jersey."


The Movistar team of Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde roll down the ramp on the stone pier at Puerto Banus. For them, this will be an exercise of keeping their men out of trouble rather than vying for the red jersey.


Great job by BMC! They've cracked it by under a second to send Tinkoff-Saxo packing from the finish zone. And it looked like it was Peter Velits in pole position and so he could well be in red tomorrow...


Astana on course now, with their intriguing selection of lining up a trio of leaders in Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa. It'll be interesting to see how that one pans out...


The BMC team of Tejay Van Garderen are the latest team to roll down the ramp on the Puerto Banus marina.


Lotto-Soudal are 17 seconds down. It's worth adding that while these times will not count for the GC they will count for the team classification standings, which may have been while there was such a brouhaha with Etixx.


It's worth noting that Peter Sagan was the rider who led Tinkoff-Saxo over the line so he could well be in red tomorrow, which given tomorrow's summit finish will be very welcome.


Etixx-QuickStep cross the line for fourth place, nine seconds down on Tinkoff-Saxo, before starting to bicker and in-fight. It seems Niki Terpstra isn't too happy about the effort made by some of his team-mates in this, a neutralised team time trial...


The Lotto-Soudal team of Adam Hansen are on course now. The Australian veteran is now riding his 13th consecutive Grand Tour, an astonishing achievement (especially given his bad fall early in July's Tour, which dislocated his shoulder and made riding excruciatingly painful for quite some time).


Over a minute off the pace for the Giant-Alpecin team of John Degenkolb. A reminder for those just joining us: these times do not count for the GC, just for the prestige of the victory and the red jersey for tomorrow.


Wow, that was unexpected: Tinkoff-Saxo have dethroned Gerrans and GreenEdge by half a second. We have a new leader...


Simon Gerrans crossed the line in pole position for Orica-GreenEdge so should they hold on to the win, he will be in the red jersey this evening. The Australian veteran said his team did two recon rides over the course today. "We tried to not take any risks and just ride as fast as possible between the corners. There are a lot of people saying 'take it easy' but we're all racers and we want to win."


It's the third best time for Trek Factory Racing, who come home in a time of 8:21. Their main man is Fabian Cancellara, who crashed out of the Tour with a broken vertebrae while in the yellow jersey. Frank Schleck is here too, and the Van Poppel brothers.


Tinkoff-Saxo roll down the ramp. There's no Contador but there's Rafal Majka for GC and the climbs, and Peter Sagan for sprints. Surely it's time for Sagan to end his Grand Tour stage drought, which stretches back to the 2013 Tour de France now.


New fastest time by Orica-GreenEdge, who come home in a time of 8:11, that's seven seconds quicker than LottoNL-Jumbo.


Wow, there's taking it easy and there's taking the p***. Europcar come home in a time of 10:25 - that's more than two minutes down on the leaders, over a 7.4km course.


Orica-GreenEdge are on course now - they have a good track record in TTTs but no track record in neutralised TTTs. It's worth mentioning that the route is so narrow that it's hard for riders to do relays and drop to the back.


It's second quickest for Spanish wildcards Caja-Rural, who cross the line just 10 seconds down on leaders LottoNL-Jumbo. Bravo!


Team Europcar roll down the ramp - and the riders will be performing for their future out there with the future of the team very much up in the air following Jean-Rene Bernaudeau's failure to lure a new sponsor to take over when Europcar stand aside. Today it was announced that Cyril Gautier - who is in the nine-man squad, along with Pierre Rolland - has signed for Ag2R-La Mondiale for the next three years.


Big effort from IAM Cycling, who cross the line with just five riders after digging deep on this neutralised team time trial. They're nevertheless 19 seconds down on the Dutch leaders, LottoNL-Jumbo.


Cannondale-Garmin's Andrew Talansky at the finish: "It's really nice. Obviously we wanted to put on a good show for everyone and ride the race for the public. Our main priority was to stay safe but also put in a good effort - and we did both, we stayed safe and put in a good effort." Did he see what their time was?


Cannondale-Garmin trickle across the line in a time of 9:30 so they're clearly taking this neutralisation malarkey without any pinch of salt. Meanwhile, Cofidis roll down the ramp.


The Ag2R-La Mondiale team of Domenico Pozzovivo come home for the slowest time of 9:10 - a full 52 seconds slower than the leaders, LottoNL-Jumbo. Colombian Carlos Betancur was initially set to ride the Vuelta but he was left out of the squad because of issues concerning his weight. There are rumours circulating that Betancur has signed for Movistar next year, which would be interesting. He really needs to get his career back on track after a couple of fallow years.


Cannondale-Garmin are on course now. Their leader for this race is Andrew Talansky, while Moreno Moser makes his Grand Tour comeback after quite a time out on the sidelines. News coming through today that Colombian Rigoberto Uran has signed with the American team from Etixx-QuickStep for the coming season.


New best time set by LottoNL-Jumbo: 8:18.8 for the Dutch team, a full 22 seconds quicker than MTN-Qhubeka.


FDJ are 14 seconds down on MTN and so that's third for the French outfit - not that it matters on this neutralised course.


Colombia came home three seconds down on leaders MTN-Qhubeka just as LottoNL-Jumbo got their effort under way.


My mistake - Team Columbia rolled down the ramp at some point between MTN and FDJ, but it was not shown on the live broadcast. So they're leaving at five minute intervals it seems.


Those safety concerns regard the frequent surface changes. In fact, there are seven different type of road surface in total: asphalt, concrete, wood, marble, plastic, brick and grit.


Oddly, the next team is only starting once the previous team finishes - so there will never me more than one team on the course at the same time. This is probably because it's so narrow there would be no room for manoeuvre should there be an incident. FDJ are next, they roll down the ramp. Their man man is Kenny Elissonde, a stage winner in the Vuelta in 2013.


MTN come home with seven riders and set a reasonable time of 8min 40.8secs. Britain's Steve Cummings was on and off the back there.


This really is quite a bizarre spectacle, with the riders undergoing a parade which will not count. Effectively, it's all for show for the spectators, with the prestige going to the winning team, the leader of which will wear the red jersey tomorrow. Will anyone really want to take the risk?


They're off! The first team has rolled down the ramp - and it's the MTN-Qhubeka team of Louis Meintjes. They're making history - the first team in Grand Tour history to field seven African riders.


While covering the Arctic Race of Norway last week, I spoke to former Sky directeur sportive Sean Yates, now at Tinkoff-Saxo, about his thoughts on the Vuelta. Yates is tipping countryman Chris Froome to become the first rider in the modern era to win both the Tour and the Vuelta in the same season. It's been done just twice before - by Messrs Anquetil and Hinault - but that was when the Vuelta was held from late April to mid-May, and not later in August/September.


With the exception of Alberto Contador, all the big guns are here at the Vuelta with the Tour de France's top four riders - Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali - all taking to the start. Throw in the likes of Fabio Aru, Mikel Landa, Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara, John Degenkolb, Domenico Pozzovivo and Tejay van Garderen, then it's a pretty stellar field for this, the third and final Grand Tour of the season.


Before we get started today it's worth mentioning that the times at the finish of this team time trial will not count for the general classification because of safety concerns regarding the varied terrain of this otherwise pan-flat race against the clock.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2015 Vuelta a Espana! It's the opening team time trial from Puerto Banus to Marbella, a controversial 7.4km ride along the Costa del Sol that features sections on a wooden raised platform and a sandy dirt track.