U.S. Markets close in 6 hrs 29 mins

Lopez in red as Roglic pays for crash on Vuelta debut

There were contrasting fortunes for two of the pre-race favourites as the Vuelta a Espana began, with Miguel Angel Lopez in the red jersey.

Miguel Angel Lopez led Astana across the line for the best time in the opening stage of the 2019 Vuelta a Espana, where Primoz Roglic endured a frustrating start.

The Spanish Grand Tour kicked off with a team time trial in Torrevieja on Saturday and it was Astana, with a time of 14 minutes and 51 seconds, who set the benchmark on day one.

Lopez, among the favourites this year, was the fastest of all riders in action, claiming the red jersey, with the Colombian aiming to build on his strong previous performances at the Vuelta.

He won two stages and the young rider classification in 2017, before recording a third-placed finish in the general classification last year.

Where one pre-race contender enjoyed a strong first ride, the same was not true of Roglic.

Roglic has finished third and fourth at his past two Grand Tours - this year's Giro d'Italia and the 2018 Tour de France, respectively - but a crash put him on the back foot early on his Vuelta debut.

A collision in the middle of the Team Jumbo-Visma train sent Roglic tumbling, with the Slovenian wearing a torn skin suit as his outfit dashed for the line 40 seconds back on the leaders.

Tony Martin attempted to hold Jumbo together but a time of 15 minutes and 32 seconds was 18th best of 22 teams.

They were not the only squad to have a mishap, but Deceuninck-Quick Step still came in second despite a mix-up close to the line.

Quick Step were two seconds back, while Team Sunweb were a further three seconds behind. Mitchelton-Scott, somewhat surprisingly, came in ninth.
 

STAGE RESULT

1. Astana 14:51
2. Deceuninck-Quick Step + 00:02
3. Team Sunweb + 00:05
4. EF Education First + 00:07
5. Bora-Hansgrohe + 00:14

WHAT'S NEXT?

The familiar Benidorm to Calpe route sees riders venture out on their own in stage two, with a hilly 199.6 kilometre ride best suited to those all-rounders with both pace in their legs and the ability to climb.