Alejandro Valverde won the opening prologue of the 2014 Vuelta a Andalucia today – beating his closest rival by 7 seconds.
Indeed, just as he did in last year’s race, Valverde put his stamp on the Vuelta by setting the fastest time around the 7.3 kilometer time trial course in Almeria.
Meanwhile, Tim Dumoulin set the second fastest time, followed by his teammate Jon Izagirre – who finished another 2 seconds back.
In addition, a few riders with Team Sky earned themselves slots in the top 10 overall general classification after putting in good performances in today’s prologue as well. Behind the top three finishers, Vasili Kiryienka, Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins and Ritchie Porte netted Team Sky the next three spots in the GC.
Simon Geschke and Haimar Zubeldia rounded out the top 10.
Kiryienka was the first rider to set a serious time in today’s event. Shortly thereafter, Wiggins set out on the course putting in a blistering performance – that at one point appeared as though the British rider might take over the race lead. However, his efforts fell short – with Jon Izagirre subsequently putting in a faster time.
From there, Dumoulin briefly threatened to steal the leader’s position away – with a highly impressive ride. But, Valverde proved to be too strong, as the Spanish rider proceeded the cover the course in a time of 8:22.
Valverde heads into tomorrow’s stage, a hilly 186.8 kilometer route from Velez Malaga to Jaen that finishes with a short 2.4 kilometer climb to the finish that has an average gradient of 6.7%, that’s perfectly suited for the Spanish climber to defend his lead.
1. Alejandro Valverde 8.22
2. Tom Dumoulin +0.07
3. Ion Izagirre +0.09
4. Vasil Kiryienka +0.13
5. Geraint Thomas +0.14
6. Bradley Wiggins
7. Javi Moreno +0.15
8. Richie Porte
9. Simon Geschke +0.16
10. Haimar Zubeldia +0.17
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