• BMC Racing won their second consecutive Grand Tour team time-trial
  • Chris Froome avoided taking any risks on the opening-day stage
  • Froome’s Team Sky finished over a minute down on BMC Racing 

Phil Blanche, Press Association Sport

Chris Froome avoided taking any risks on the controversial opening-day stage at the Vuelta a Espana as BMC Racing won their second consecutive Grand Tour team time-trial.

The Tour de France champion knew the result would not affect his standing in the general classification and Froome’s Team Sky finished over a minute down on BMC Racing, who pipped Orica-GreenEdge and Tinkoff-Saxo by less than a second.

With several changes of surface, including a sandy section near the start, organisers announced on Friday a compromise had been reached regarding the team time-trial, with the times no longer contributing to the individual classification.

All eyes are on Chris Froome as he rides through the crowd following the first stage of the Vuelta Tour

All eyes are on Chris Froome as he rides through the crowd following the first stage of the Vuelta Tour

Froome (right) rides alongside his Sky team-mates during the race in the province of Malaga, Spain

Froome (right) rides alongside his Sky team-mates during the race in the province of Malaga, Spain

TEAM TRIAL RESULTS

1. BMC Racing (United States) 8:10″

2. Tinkoff – Saxo (Russia) +1″

3. Orica (Australia) Same time

4. LottoNL (Netherlands) +8″

5. Etixx – Quick-Step (Belgium) +10″

6. Trek (United States) +11″

7. Lotto (Belgium) +18″

8. Caja Rural (Spain) Same time

9. Movistar (Spain) +24″

10. Cofidis (France) +27″ 

20. Team Sky (Britain) +1:11″

LottoNL-Jumbo set the early pace with what looked to be a strong time of eight minutes and 18 seconds but time-trial specialists Orica-GreenEdge soon smashed that mark by eight seconds.

Tinkoff-Saxo then edged Orica off the top spot by less than a second but their time in the leader’s enclosure was short as world champions BMC took over by a tenth of a second.

Slovakian Peter Velits crossed the line first for BMC and will wear the leader’s red jersey in the tough stage to Carminito del Rey on Sunday.

But, with a challenging finish and no time gaps between any of the riders, Velits will have a huge task on his hands to keep hold of the jersey.

Team Sky’s caution was mirrored by Cannondale-Garmin (9:30) and Europcar (10:25) who were even slower on a course which had been questioned by Froome and team-mate Geraint Thomas among other riders. 

BMC Racing Team rider Peter Velits of Slovakia smiles on the podium before wearing the leader's red jersey

BMC Racing Team rider Peter Velits of Slovakia smiles on the podium before wearing the leader’s red jersey

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