The ITT is played out in the city, partly even in the old town, so it’s rather technical. Shortly after the start the route runs through the Arena of Nîmes, which is a Roman amphitheatre that is still in use as a bullfight arena. Furthermore, rock bands Metallica, Depeche Mode and Rammstein have performed here. Following this spectacular intermezzo the teams continue to a modest climb halfway, Alto de Nîmes, while the finish is near the Musée Archéologique.
It’s the thirth time the Vuelta a España starts outside of Spain. In 1997 Portugal hosted the Grande Salida, while the race set off in the Netherlands in 2009.
Nîmes is located in the south of France, around 250 kilometres from the Spanish border. The city has a rich history dating back to Roman times. Not without reason Nîmes has been called French Rome as a lot of Roman monuments are to be found in the city. Most famous is the above mentioned Arena of Nîmes, which is similar to the Colosseum in Rome.
The 2016 Vuelta was won by Nairo Quintana after a compelling battle with Chris Froome. From day one onwards the two rivals went at it head-to-head. Their teams finished in exactly the same time in the team time trial, although Sky was declared winner.
In 2015 the team time trial on day one was hors concours (BMC win), while Movistar powered to victory in the 2014 team time trial.
At 13.7 kilometres, the distance of the 1st stage of the 2017 Vuelta is shorter than last year, when the last Grand Tour of the season started with a 27.8 kilometres time trial.
Read also: results/report 1st stage 2017 Vuelta.
Vuelta 2017 stage 1: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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