Vuelta a Espana: Janez Brajkovic takes overall lead as Astana win stage one team time trial

By Matt Westby.   Last Updated: 24/08/13 9:10pm

  • Share:
Janez Brajkovic led Astana over the line and now wears the leader's red jersey

Janez Brajkovic led Astana over the line and now wears the leader's red jersey

Sky Bet

Janez Brajkovic took an early lead of the Vuelta a Espana after his Astana squad produced a superb team time trial to win stage one in Galicia.

The Kazakh squad stopped the clock on a flat but technical 27.4km course in 29 minutes 59 seconds, beating RadioShack-Leopard into second by 10 seconds and Omega Pharma - Quick-Step into third by 16 seconds.

Slovenian Brajkovic was their first man over the finish line and will now wear the race leader's red jersey in tomorrow's second stage.

The result was the ideal outcome for Vincenzo Nibali, who gained significant time on all of his rivals for overall victory, with Alejandro Valverde's Movistar finishing 29 seconds behind and Joaquim Rodriguez's Katusha 59 seconds back.

NetApp-Endura were the first squad off the start ramp in Vilanova de Arousa and posted an early fastest time of 30min 34sec, but despite that being good enough to see off the challenge of BMC and Orica-GreenEDGE, Omega Pharma - Quick-Step soon deposed them.

Martin and Cancellara thwarted

Driven on by world time trial champion Tony Martin, the Belgian team were fastest at both splits and even though they shed four of their nine riders, the remaining five dug deep to move them to the head of the standings in 30min 15sec.

That mark stood for an hour, but RadioShack-Leopard then produced a stunning display to go six seconds faster thanks to a powerful final sector inspired by four-time world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara.

It looked like it would be good enough to put the Swiss maestro into the red jersey, but Astana, who were the last team to start, went fastest by eight seconds at the second split, after 20km, and consolidated their advantage with a strong run into the finish in Sanxenxo.

Brajkovic was allowed to lead the team over the line, handing the Slovenian a welcome moment in the spotlight seven weeks after he was forced to abandon the Tour de France following a heavy crash.

Team Sky finished 22 seconds down in fourth to keep Sergio Henao well placed in the general classification, but Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Ivan Basso (Cannondale) Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) all sustained heavy losses of more than a minute.

Stage one result

1 Astana 29:59
2 RadioShack-Leopard, +10secs
3 Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +16
4 Team Sky, +22
5 Movistar, +29
6 Saxo-Tinkoff, +32
7 NetApp-Endura, +35
8 BMC, +36
9 Orica-GreenEDGE, +45
10 Belkin, +49

General classification

1 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana, 29:59
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, same time
3 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana, st
4 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, st
5 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana, st
6 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana, st
7 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Leopard, +10sec
8 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) RadioShack-Leopard, st
9 Markel Irizar (Spa) RadioShack-Leopard, st
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack-Leopard, st

  • Share:

Related

Vuelta a Espana 2013

Chris Horner had notified drugs testers about his change of hotel

Horner absent for drugs test

RadioShack-Leopard have defended Chris Horner after he missed a drugs test in Madrid.

Chris Horner edged out Vincenzo Nibali, left, and Alejandro Valverde, right

Horner completes Vuelta win

Chris Horner became the oldest Grand Tour winner by completing overall victory at the Vuelta a Espana.

Chris Horner fought out a magnificent battle with Vincenzo Nibali

Horner on brink of Vuelta win

Chris Horner has all but secured the Vuelta a Espana win after extending his lead on stage 20.

Most Popular

Features

Time for redemption

Time for redemption

In the first instalment of her new blog, Orla Chennaoui looks ahead to the world championships

Vuelta lessons

Vuelta lessons

Eight things we learnt from the final Grand Tour of the season, won by Alberto Contador.

Cycling transfers

Cycling transfers

A team-by-team guide to which riders are on the move and where for the 2015 season.