This year’s Vuelta a España begins on Friday evening with a 23.3km team time trial through the streets of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
While it might take less than half an hour for the professionals to hurtle round the course, any time gaps might have a big impact on the general classification; any kind of calamity, and a rider might already be out of contention all together.
This opening stage marks the first time since 2019 that the discipline has featured at the race and, for many of the riders, the first time since that they’ve ridden against the clock in a team.
There are 23 teams due to set off on the course, with the first being ProTour team Burgos-BH at 1730 BST (1830 CEST). The last to set off will be Jumbo-Visma, the squad of three-time defending champion Primož Roglič, no pressure then.
The eight-man teams will set off at four-minute intervals, so unless something disastrous happens, there probably won’t be any overtaking while out on the course.
Time is taken at the fifth man of eight to cross the line, so TT specialists cannot just power off, but instead riders must marshal their resources to produce the best time over the pan-flat, not particularly technical course. Quick times will be posted.
Favourites include Jumbo-Visma, Ineos Grenadiers, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and BikeExchange-Jayco, although considering how few TTTs are actually raced at WorldTour level, it could be anyone’s game.
ALL START TIMES FOR THE Vuelta a España 2022 STAGE ONE TIME TRIAL (ALL Netherlands LOCAL TIME)
- 18:30:00 Burgos-BH
- 18:34:00 Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux
- 18:38:00 Israel – Premier Tech
- 18:42:00 Groupama – FDJ
- 18:46:00 Arkéa Samsic
- 18:50:00 Cofidis
- 18:54:00 Euskaltel – Euskadi
- 18:58:00 EF Education-EasyPost
- 19:02:00 BikeExchange – Jayco
- 19:06:00 AG2R Citroën Team
- 19:10:00 Bahrain – Victorious
- 19:14:00 Lotto Soudal
- 19:18:00 Alpecin-Deceuninck
- 19:22:00 Equipo Kern Pharma
- 19:26:00 DSM
- 19:30:00 BORA – hansgrohe
- 19:34:00 UAE Team Emirates
- 19:38:00 Astana Qazaqstan
- 19:42:00 Trek – Segafredo
- 19:46:00 INEOS Grenadiers
- 19:50:00 Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
- 19:54:00 Movistar
- 19:58:00 Jumbo-Visma