Italian Manuel Senni takes the race's first yellow jersey

BMC Racing won the opening team time trial of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, edging Team Sky into second place, with Italian Manuel Senni taking the first leader’s yellow jersey

The two-time team time trial world champions produced an excellent performance on the hilly 37.9km course in eastern Spain, starting on the Mediterranean coast to the east of the city of Murcia, and finishing in Orihuela.

With no time checks along the course, it was difficult to track teams’ progress through the stage, but BMC looked smooth throughout, with only one rider dropping off the back towards the very end of the stage.

The early pace was set by CCC Sprandi Polkowice, whose time was eventually beaten by LottoNL-Jumbo and then Quick-Step Floors.

However’s Quick-Step’s time of 44-06 was comfortable beaten by BMC Racing, who stopped the clock at 43-17.

There were only three teams still to finish after BMC, and after Astana and Movistar failed to provide a challenge, it was up to Team Sky, led by defending champion Wout Poels.

Led across the line by Polish rider Lukasz Wisniowski, Sky finished 21 seconds in arrears.

Tomorrow’s stage sees the riders tackle a rolling course finishing in Denia, with a third category climb close to the end of the stage.

However the overall race is likely to be decided on Saturday’s stage four, which features the only summit finish of the race.

Results

Volta a la Comunitat de la Valenciana 2017, stage one: Orihuela to Orihuela, 37.9km

1. BMC Racing (USA), in 43-17
2. Team Sky (GBR), at 21 secs
3. Quick-Step Floors (BEL), at 49 secs
4. Movistar (ESP), at 1-02
5. Team LottoNL-Jumbo (NED), at 1-13
6. Astana (KAZ), at 1-16
7. FDJ (FRA), at 1-30
8. Katusha-Alpecin (SUI), at 1-52
9. Cannondale-Drapac (USA), at 1-58
10. Orica-Scott (AUS), at 2-00

General classification after stage one

1. Manuel Senni (ITA) BMC Racing, in 43-17
2. Michael Schar (SUI) BMC Racing
3. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing
4. Nicolas Roche (IRL) BMC Racing
5. Stefan Küng (SUI) BMC Racing
6. Ben Hermans (BEL) BMC Racing, all same time
7. Lukasz Wisniowski (POL) Team Sky, at 21 secs
8. Philip Deignan (IRL) Team Sky
9. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL) Team Sky
10. Wout Poels (NED) Team Sky, all same time