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65th Vuelta a España - Stage 1 Live Part 1
 
By Nick Bull
Date: 8/28/2010
65th Vuelta a España - Stage 1 Live Part 1
 

65th Vuelta a España - Stage 1 Live
The 75th Vuelta gets underway under the lights in Sevilla

August 28
Stage 1: Sevilla Team Time Trial 13.0 km

 2200 CEST -
Welcome to the Daily Peloton's coverage of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana. The 65th running of this ever exciting race starts off with a 13km Team Time Trial around Sevilla, the financial capital of southern Spain.

Start times for the teams
Stage 1 Preview

 Temperatures earlier today peaked at 39 degrees (102F), but now the sun has set, the heat has cooled slightly and street lines around this circuit in Seville have been turned on. With the 2008 and 2009 winners not riding for various reasons, all eyes are on Frank Schleck, returning from his crash which took him out of the Tour in the first week. Brother Andy, who reached Paris in second place (come on, you all know that, right?!) is here to support him.

Denis Menchov proved he can ride with the best in July, however one wonders if his efforts in France will be too much for the 2005 and 2007 winner.

Liquigas have Roman Kreuziger AND Vincenzo Nibali riding this race. The team have already witnessed a GC win in the Giro this year, so cannot be discounted for the overall and team classification. My outside bets would be Nicolas Roche (Ag2R - La Mondiale) and Christian Vandevelde.


One of the famed Andalucian horse performs at the send off for for the home team. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

2207 CEST - Footon Servetto are the first team on the course, and are four minutes into their ride. Their usually hideous kit looks pretty spectacular under the lights. The other shockingly-clad team in the race - Ag2R - have just set off.

Parts of this course are extremely fast, others are more technical.

2209 CEST - Footon are passing over one of the most spectacular bridges - the Alamillo Bridge, built for Seville's Expo '92 Exhibition - you'll ever see.  Expo bought much needed investment to the area, improving both the economic and social aspects of the Andalusian city

 2211 CEST - Blimey, what is it about teams with awful kits? Another one I hate is the Milram jersey, and that have just set off along the course.  Crowds along the course look to consistently large along the course - not in the Rotterdam or London league - but very good for la Vuelta.

 2213 CEST - I guess with many sports (including Formula 1 and MotoGP) holding floodlight events, it was only a matter of time before a night stage came to cycling. What is surprising is that the A.S.O were beaten to it.  The blue lights around the starthouse make it resemble something out of Avatar.

Joaquin Rodriguez's Katusha team are next to leave the ramp. This could be a good tour for the Spaniard, who has Vladimir Gusev, Mikhail Ignatiev, Vladimir Karpets and Russian TT Champion Denis Galimzyanov alongside him.


Lampre/Farnese Vini  in the start house.   Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

 2217 CEST - Here come Footon to finish... 15'03.05" is their time, averaging 58.1km/h. Not a bad time for the 13km.

Our resident Aussie Chris Graetz has predicted that Bbox Bouygues Telecom rider Pierre Rolland will make the top 10 overall. His team have just set off - I certainly expect to see some of their guys contesting the sprints in the flat-as-a-pancake first week.


The Pro Tour's youngest team Footon/Servetto/Fujji  Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

 2222 CEST - Second team to finish are Ag2r La Mondiale. They are down to the five riders needed to stop the clock. Roche is leading them across the line as they cross in 14'41", which means they are the fastest team. Of two...

 HTC-Columbia are released from the start house. With a team consisting of Cavendish, Bernie Eisel and Hayden Roulston, you'd never guess that this race is a sprinter's heaven...  Reports suggest Adam Renshaw, Cav's main lead out man, is fighting Bulls in the Arena next to the starthouse. He needed stronger opposition than the Garmin leadout train.

2225 CEST - Talking of cow's, Milram are heading towards the finish line.. Ag2R were given a time of 14'39", quicker than where the clock initially stopped.

In the start house 9 beautiful Spanish lasses dressed in red hold the riders bikes up as the ready to launch down the ramp - you just have to love the Vuelta - they think of everything to improve the race each year from so many perspectives.

Milram post a time of 14'24", which takes 15s off Ag2r and make the Footon team's time look as if they're guys were resting on one of their own products. Meanwhile Quick Step - lead off by native Carlos Barredo - are now underway too. Perhaps he is a long shot for a podium place in Madrid

The finishers are coming thick and fast now, as Katusha break down into five riders within the last 600m. This is also a good time - 14'26", so good enough for second place right now. Very good ride by Katusha.

 2232 CET - Omega Pharma - Lotto are next to take to the floodlight roads of Sevilla. Phillipe Gilbert and Jurgen Van Goolen share a joke before they set off, which was a marked contrast to the serious faces of Milram when they began their ride.

The bright yellow disc wheels and the garish kit of HTC-Columbia is a combination that looks particularly good under floodlights.  I suspect they will beat the current fastest time; the lack of time checks on the course is slightly infuriating, but adds to the tension on the line I guess.

And talking about the finish, the Bobobobobobox guys are about to finish. They won't beat Milram.. Nor Katusha..  14'45" is their time, fourth fastest thus far.

2236 CEST - Next off are Francaise des Jeux, who will be hoping their number comes up tonight.. wahey! There's more where that came from, apparently.


Frank and Andy Schleck, Larsson Swedish champion, Fabian in the rainbow  ready to start their effort. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

1km to go for Columbia now. They certainly look quick as the run parallel to the river.. in fact, they ARE quick:  They are going to take this, surely - 14'06" is their time, taking EIGHTEEN seconds off the Milram time and setting the time to beat.  I'm trying to see who led them across the line, as one suspects he may take ownership of the race lead tonight.  It certainly wasn't Cav, nor Bernie Eisel.


Team Columbia on the move to win the TTT.  Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

 2240 CEST - Everyone's favourite TT team, Euskatel Euskadi are next to depart. Now, they may not take the stage, but they will certainly look the most lumious on the roads tonight. Koldo Fernandez nearly had a moment coming off the start ramp.

 Not naming names, but the recent example I saw of a crash coming out of the start house in a certain French race was the first crash I've laughed at since Ulrich's scenic course on the Peyresourde descent in the 2001 Tour.

2242 CEST - Shows how many cerveza's I've had - it WAS Cavendish over the line first for Columbia. Meanwhile, Carlos Barredo has led Quick Step across the line, with the clock stopping at 14'29", 4th fastest right now.

2244 CEST - Lampre-Farnese Vini are preparing to set off. Their team does not look equipped to fight in the overall, but with Alessandro Pettachi, Danilo Hondo and Angelo Furlan competing these will probably be HTC-Columbia's biggest competition in the first week. July showed that a fully fit Cavendish is easily superior to Pettachi.  Also, Andriy Keschechkin is returning to cycling with Lampre following a ban for being a naughty boy. Let's see if his form is as good as it once (unsurprisingly) was.

Here come Omega Pharma - Lotto across the line; 14'23" takes them second fastest, one second ahead of Milram and with a couple of riders to spare too.

2248 CET - Lots of pressure is on Team Sky's shoulders as they get ready to set compete in their third GT of the year. Lambasted in both France and the UK alike in July, they need to ride well to show they have the talent to match their millions.  No Bradley Wiggins; instead Dave "Marginal Gains" Brailsford insists the team are more relaxed this time around. 

Peter Kennaugh is highly rated, so we'll see how he rides. They've certainly blasted through the opening cobbled section.
13:50:52

2250 CEST - FDJ won't be troubling the judges today, already down to 5th... They cross the line in 14'39", which sees them sixth right now, pipping Milram who posted a nigh-on identical time.

French team Cofidis are next to start, the thirteenth team of the 22. And boy do they look nervous! More importantly, I've just noticed how pleasing the females on the start ramp are.. now, where am I...

Cofidis' best hope must surely be a stage win - while one of the Euskatel rider's will be hoping for some bolts and plates as his saddle has come loose.

2253 CET - Euskatel are fast approaching the finish. If they beat HTC Columbia I will eat my hat. And no, they won't. That time has passed, and they have just the five men remaining. 14'33" is their time - sixth fastest currently. I'm surprisingly shocked.

Our Live Coverage Continues in Part 2

Previews:
Parcours Week 1
Favorites Preview
Points Classification - Sprinters
King of the Mountains
   


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