Vuelta 2014: Favourites stage 1 - Flat TTT

omegaSaturday, Agust 23rd - The 2014 Vuelta opens with a flat team time trial. It is not unlikely an Omega Pharma rider will receive the first leader's jersey. Or maybe someone from Orica? The two teams are the best in the world and are evenly matched. Heads or tales? (Slideshow route/profile)

Omega Pharma-Quick Step 
Reigning World Champion TTT and with Tony Martin aboard – reigning World Champion time trialist – definitely one of the favourites. The squad further includes exceptionally talented riders like Tom Boonen and Rigoberto Uran .

Orica GreenEdge
The Australian squad won the team time trial in the Giro and is the other top favorite. Most Orica riders have a past on the track, so it looks that this short and flat course is tailor-made for them. They lost the world title with 1 second to the Omega Pharma team but won the TTT in the recent Giro with 5 seconds difference. Should make for a glorious battle in the streets of Jerez.

Team Sky
The British Sky team has lost some of its luster and Chris Froome is eyeing up success in Spain after leaving this year’s Tour with an injury. With all systems sets on the Kenyan Brit’s GC, losing too much time in the TTT is not an option.

Contrary to expectations Nairo Quintana was strong in the TTT of the Giro. That ride was not as flat as this one, but it goes to show the Colombian is definitely not the weak link in the ‘home team’. In the 2012 Vuelta Movistar surprised each and everyone by winning the TTT.

With riders like Fabian Cancellara, Bob Jungels, Jesse Sergent and Yaroslav Popovych definitely a team to watch.

Vuelta 2014 stage 1: Images and more

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