A crash caused by a broken garden hose was the main talking point on stage one’s opening team time trial at the Vuelta a España 2019, and new footage shows riders coming a cropper as they hit the water on the road.
Jumbo-Visma took the headlines, as they were pre-stage favourites to take the win and the race lead, however they finished 40 seconds down on Astana, with Miguel Ángel López taking the red leader’s jersey.
Eight minutes before the Dutch squad ended in a pile on the floor, thankfully all unharmed, UAE Team Emirates came through and showed Jumbo-Visma just how it was done.
Fabio Aru posted two videos to his Instagram showing the collision as the sun set in Torrevieja.
Another angle from the front shows the riders sliding under the advertising banners, before calmly untangling themselves and getting back on their bikes.
UAE Team Emirates haven’t come to the race with any major GC aspirations, preferring to target stage wins, so could afford to take it easy once they knew any chance of victory in the TTT was over.
However, for Jumbo-Visma the 40 seconds lost to Astana gives Primož Roglič extra work to do as he looks to go one better than his third place at this year’s Giro d’Italia and win his first ever Grand Tour in Spain.
The Slovenian is supported by a super strong roster of climbing talent. One of his domestiques George Bennett said after the stage: “Didn’t expect to come across the Mississippi River mid corner out there tonight. Disappointing start but no serious injuries for the guys.”
Steven Kruijswijk, who will be riding in support of Roglič after finishing on the podium at the Tour de France, added: “Nice opening on this wonderful course with some last minute surprises. But we’ll continue fighting, maybe not tomorrow straight away though.”