Janez Brajkovic became the first rider this year to wear the race leaders jersey in the Tour of Spain, but teammate Vincenzo Nibali was the biggest winner as his bid to become the first rider since Alberto Contador in 2008 to win the Giro and Vuelta in the same year got off to the perfect start on Saturday.
The Italian’s Astana team blitzed the field to win the opening team time trial of the Vuelta – a 27 kilometre group effort from Vilanova de Arousa – Sanxenxo.
Nibali crossed the line in second place behind his Slovenian teammate Brajkovic, who will wear the leaders jersey during Sunday’s stage two – a 176.8 kilometre trek to Alto Do Monte Da Groba.
The RadioShack-Leopard team came home second.
Led by time-trial specialist Fabian Cancellara the Luxemburg outfit crossed over ten seconds down on the Kazakh team.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep, featuring world time-trial champion Tony Martin, were six seconds further back in third.
While British-based Team Sky were 22 seconds adrift in fourth.