Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) moved into the overall lead at the Ruta del Sol after finishing fourth in the stage 1b time trial in Coria del Rio.
The Spaniard finished six seconds back from his compatriot Javier Moreno (Movistar), who won the stage with a time of 09-51. Contador was one second ahead of third-place Beñat Inxausti in the GC, and on equal time with Bobby Jungels (Trek Factory Racing).
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Contador sits ahead of the Luxembourg rider by virtue of finishing higher placed on the stage, and will wear the red jersey after starting the stage two seconds behind Pim Lighthard (Lotto-Soudal).
Team Sky’s Chris Froome finished in tenth place, 14 seconds behind Moreno, leaving him eight seconds behind rival Contador in fourth on the GC. Fellow Brit Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) also moved into the top ten on GC, just four seconds off Froome.
The 8.2km course contained two uncategorised climbs, but they were not enough to trouble the leading riders, with eight of the top ten averaging over 49kmph in the individual time trial.
Tomorrow’s stage sees the peloton race from Utrera to Lucena on a 194.7km course that includes a tricky third category climb close to the finish.
Ruta del Sol 2015 stage 1b: Coria del Rio – Coria del Rio, 8.2km TT
1. Javier Moreno (Esp) Movistar, 09-51
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNL.Jumbo, at 2 seconds
3. Jérome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling, at 4 seconds
4. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 6 seconds
5. Beñat Inxausti (Esp) Movistar, at 7 seconds
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing, at 8 seconds
7. Gorka Izaguirre (Esp) Movistar, at 11 seconds
8. Jérome Pineau (Fra) IAM Cycling, at 11 seconds
9. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky, at 13 seconds
10. Chris Froome (Gbr) Team Sky, at 14 seconds
Overall classification after stage 1b
1. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, 3-11-43
2. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing, same time
3. Beñat Inxausti (Esp) Movistar, at 1 seconds
4. Chris Froome (Gbr) Team Sky, at 8 seconds
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling, at 8 seconds
6. Peter Kennaugh (Gbr) Team Sky, at 12 seconds
7. Ivan Basso (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 17 seconds
8. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, at 18 seconds
9. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin, at 20 seconds
10. Michael Valgren, (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 20 seconds
Ligthart takes stage 1a
Earlier in the day, Lotto-Soudal’s Pim Ligthart took the race lead after winning a sprint from a heavily reduced peloton on the stage 1a road race.
The Dutchman edged out Fabio Silvestre (Trek Factory Racing) of Portugal by two seconds on the 118km stage from La Rabida to Hinojos. Crashes a few kilometres from the finish had caused the peloton to split and left a lead group of 27 riders heading for the line.
Both Froome and Contador finished safely in the lead group at 14th and 19th respectively, but other riders, including Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) and Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL.Jumbo), lost time on the leaders.
Peter Kennaugh was Britain’s highest finisher on the stage, placing 12th before the afternoon’s time trial.
Ruta del Sol 2015 stage 1a and overall: La Rabida – Hinojos, 118.3km
1. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto-Soudal, 3-01-44
2. Fabio Silvestre (Por) Trek Factory Racing, at 2 seconds
3. Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice, at 2 seconds
4. Michael van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, at 2 seconds
5. Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN-Qhubeka, at 2 seconds
12. Peter Kennaugh (Gbr) Team Sky, at 2 seconds
14. Chris Froome (Gbr) Team Sky, at 2 seconds
19. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 2 seconds