TORREVIEJA, SPAIN (Reuters) – Colombian rider Miguel Angel Lopez was wearing the red jersey at the end of the opening stage of the Vuelta a Espana after his Astana team won Saturday’s team time trial by a margin of two seconds over Deceuninck-QuickStep.
Jumbo-Visma were the favourites to take the first stage but endured a nightmarish start to the final Grand Tour of the season when their race leader Primoz Roglic and several of his team mates were involved in a mass crash.
The Dutch team finished a disastrous 18th of the 22 competing teams, 40 seconds behind Astana, giving Roglic a daunting deficit behind Lopez which the Slovenian will look to reduce over the next 20 stages.
Team Sunweb finished third, five seconds back, while Britain’s Ineos, without their top riders Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, came 11th, 26 seconds down on Astana.
Sunday’s stage two is a 199km ride from Benidorm to Calpe.
(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)