HTC Wins Vuelta TTT; Cavendish Takes Race Lead
HTC has drawn first blood at the Vuelta a Espana 2010.
HTC has drawn first blood at the Vuelta a Espana. HTC powered over the flat, 13-km course to win Stage 1, a nighttime team time trial in Seville, in 14:06. Liquigas finished second at 0:10, and Saxo Bank took third at 0:12. Mark Cavendish (HTC) is the overall leader.
Footon was the first team to start. The Spanish squad posted a 15:03, only to see Ag2r better that time with a 14:41. Columbia was the third team out of the start house.
The teams that followed Columbia attempted to win or put the GC men in a good position. Liquigas, which has Roman Kreuzinger, finished second, while Saxo Bank, which has Frank and Andy Schleck, finished third. Cervelo, with two-time Vuelta runner-up Carlos Sastre, took fourth at 0:13. Garmin, with Christian Vande Velde, finished fifth at 0:17. Rabobank, which has never been a time trial squad, finished 18th at 0:36, which does not put two-time Vuelta champion Denis Menchov in the best position. Fortunately for the Dutch team, this team time trial was short.
In the overall, Cavendish leads teammates Peter and Martin Veliks. Stage 2 will be a rolling, 173-km ride from Alcala de Guardaira to Marbella. With two Category 3 climbs, this stage could see a breakaway win the day, but with a long, downhill run to a flat finish, the sprinters are just as likely to take the day's honors. Which will it be? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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