Astana deliver La Roja to Lopez
August 24 th 2019 - 21:24
Miguel Angel Lopez will wear the leader's red jersey on Sunday after his team Astana dominated the opening team time trial of La Vuelta 19 in Torrevieja. The Kazakh team covered the 13.4km in 14’51” to overhaul Deceuninck - Quick Step by 2” and Team Sunweb by 5”. The young Colombian climber will enjoy a Grand Tour leader’s jersey for the first time in his career as he sets his eyes on the overall podium in Madrid. Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk lost 40” after riding through a nightmare first stage for the Dutch squad.
The 176 riders participating in La Vuelta 19 began their journey through Spain on Saturday evening with a 13.4km team time trial starting from the spectacular Salinas de Torrevieja. Dimension Data were the first to start, at 6:56 PM. They set a first reference of 15’25” and held the hot seat for about ten minutes, until CCC Team clocked 15’06”.
Another ten minutes later, Tejay Van Garderen’s EF Education First were the first to break the 15’ with a time of 14’58”. Team Sunweb rode even better: 14’56”, enough for them to finish on the podium, but not to fend off Astana (14’51”). Miguel Angel Lopez led the kazakh team through the line to claim the first red jersey as Deceuninck - Quick Step finished 2” behind them.
Jumbo-Visma were aiming for glory but their shot at glory was quickly hampered by Sepp Kuss’ mechanical inside the first kilometre. The Dutch squad was trailing by 7” in the intermediate point but they missed a curve in the second part and both Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk went down. They got back to Tony Martin, George Bennett and Robert Gesink, the only riders who didn’t crash, and lost 40” on the line.