BMC Racing won the team time trial on stage three of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana as the stage was neutralised for the general classification.
Riders awoke to appalling conditions on the east coast of Spain, with a number calling for the day’s racing to be called off having ridden the flooded 23.2km TTT course. Race organisers heeded to those calls by neutralising the time gaps for the stage, although by the time the race got underway the rain had stopped and the wind dropped.
However the organisers were not going to reverse their decision, with some teams deciding to play it safe on their road bikes, while others still went for the stage win on their time trial bikes.
Unsurprisingly it was some of the smaller teams who saw the opportunity to make a splash, with Gazprom-Rusvelo taking an early lead before CCC Sprandi Polkowice matched their time
The final few teams down the start ramp were all WorldTour teams, and although Katusha-Alpecin were not quite able to better CCC Sprandi Polkowice at the finish, BMC Racing were on fire setting the fastest time at the intermediate time check.
Another surprise package, Ag2r La Mondiale, set the new time to beat with a 28-30, but it stood for no more than a few minutes as BMC, who said before the race that they had selected their team to win the team time trial, smashed the French team’s time by well over a minute.
With the favourites having crossed the line, there were only three further teams to finish, and with Astana the only team seeming interested in chasing a good time but still only able to take second, it was BMC who took the victory.
The Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana will continue with stage four on Saturday with a summit finish in the Parc Natural de la Serra de Mariola where the final destination of the yellow jersey will likely be decided ahead of the final flat stage on Sunday.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, stage three: Benitatxell to Calpe, 23.3km (TTT)
1. BMC Racing (USA), in 27-25
2. Astana Pro Team (Kaz), at 1-08 0:01:08
3. Ag2r La Mondiale (Fra), at 1-12 0:01:12
4. Gazprom–Rusvelo (Rus), at 1-36
5. CCC Sprandi Polkowice (Pol), at same time
6. Katusha-Alpecin (Sui), at 1-43
7. Euskadi-Murias (Esp), at 1-46
8. Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel), at 1-54
9. Cofidis (Fra), at 2-13
10. Direct Energie (Fra), at 2-14
General classification after stage three
1. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, in 8-27-58
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana, at 4 secs
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, at 6 secs
4. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, at 29 secs
5. Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky
6. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Astana
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing
8. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
9. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing
10. Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC Sprandi Polkowice, all at same time