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Vuelta a Espana 2017: BMC Racing win opening TTT; Rohan Dennis in red

BMC Racing were the fastest across the 13.7km course to take the first red jersey

Jack Elton-Walters
19 Aug 2017

BMC Racing took the opening honours of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana by recording the fastest time on Stage 1's team time trial. The win put Rohan Dennis into the first red jersey of the race, but it's unlikely it'll still be his after Stage 21 in Milan.

Dennis's teammate Tejay Van Garderen is the probable first choice for the team over the three weeks but his pedigree has been called into question over the past few seasons.

Among the big General Classification contenders, it was Chris Froome (Team Sky) who came off best thanks to his team's high placing on the stage.

Vincenzo Nibail (Bahrain-Merida), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) did not do as well and will have their work cut out to make up the deficits they've accrued after just 13.8km.

How the Stage 1 team time trial of the Vuelta a Espana 2017 panned out

The third Grand Tour of the 2017 season kicked off in the host country of the second, as riders lined up for the team time trial in Nimes, France.

Stage 1 of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana took place on a spectacular course that saw the teams race through a Roman amphitheatre and around the streets of Nimes, covering 13.8km.

Orica-Scott, who have come to the race two - possibly three - leadership options, dropped 17 seconds to BMC Racing but that time loss shouldn't trouble any of their GC hopes later in the race.

The 11 seconds that splits Esteban Chaves and the Yates twins from Froome has the potential to be more decisive but there are 20 stages and a lot of mountains to come.

Stage winners BMC had to make a last minute rider change as Samuel Sanchez returned an adverse result on an out of competition anti-doping control.

The rider has expressed his 'surprise' at the positive, but whatever comes of it he is now serving a provisional suspension meaning he's unavailble for the race.

A farewell to Contador

This race will be the final outing for Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) at the end of a highly decorated and partially tainted career.

The Spaniard has stood on the top step of the podium at the end of a Grand Tour a totla of nine times, but retains just seven of those titles.

Looking at his performances since the last of those wins - the 2015 Giro d'Italia - it's a longshot to think he might win the 2017 Vuelta, but the home crowd would love to see him take one more big win.

After riding the Tour de France his condition may not allow for a serious attempt at the overall anyway, but you can be sure that he'll battle all the way to the end and his winner's instinct should at least lead him to a stage victory.

Regardless of people's opinions of Contador, in this age of power meters, marginal gains and following the race leader around the course for days on end, he'll be missed.

Vuelta a Espana Stage 1: Nimes (Fra) – Nimes (Fra), 13.7km (TTT), result

1. BMC Racing, at 15:58
2. Quick-Step Floorsm at 0:06
3. Team Sunweb, at 0:06
4. Team Sky, at 0:06
5. Orica-Scott, at 0:17
6. Bora-Hansgrohe, at 0:21
7. Lotto-Soudal, at 0:24
8. Movistar, at 0:24
9. Bahrain-Merida, at 0:31
10. Katusha-Alpecin, at 0:33

Vuelta a Espana 2017: General Classification after Stage 1

1. Rohan Dennis

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