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The BMC Racing Team is competing in its first Vuelta a España. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
The BMC Racing Team is competing in its first Vuelta a España. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Vuelta a España, Stage 1: A Respectable Start

20. August 2011

Benidorm, Spain

Despite riding cautiously in Saturday's team time trial that opened the Vuelta a España, the BMC Racing Team still managed an 11th place finish, 27 seconds off the winning time on the 13.5-kilometer course.

Tricky Downhill

BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe called the performance "respectable" on a course that many deemed technical and even dangerous in spots. "I told the guys that it wasn't today that we would do something," Verbrugghe said. "The real start of the race is tomorrow. I told them not to take any risks on the downhill." Team Leopard Trek won with a time of 16:30. Swiss national time trial champion Martin Kohler said the first kilometers – which were uphill – were also dangerous. "On the climbs, there were lots of turns, lots of wind and gravel on the road," Kohler said. "The downhill was tricky, too. The most important part was that we stayed safe."