Stage 1 preview

Team time trial to open Vuelta

This will be an evening of many firsts. The 65th Vuelta a España will be kicked off by a short team time trial and take place under lights on a course that incorporates many of Seville's most renowned sights.

Starting in the Plaza de Maestranza, next to Spain's oldest bullring, the pan-flat course is highly technical over the first 5km. After that, the 22 teams will be able to get up to full cruising speed as the course follows the Guadalquivir river to the finish next to the 12-sided Torre del Oro, which was built by the Moors in the 13th century. The first rider home in the fastest squad on the night will be presented with the new red leader's jersey.

Inside knowledge

Impeccable teamwork will be vital on such a short, technical stage, which seems to suggest that Team Sky will be among the favourites on their Vuelta debut. At the Giro, they narrowly lost out to Liquigas on a course twice as long as this one, and they should have an edge over the Italians in Seville, because their line-up is likely to be stronger. HTC-Columbia and Garmin won't be far away, though.

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