Villanova de Arousa to Sanxenxo, TTT - 27km
The Vuelta organisers have certainly found a novel way to start the 2013 race, with a Team Trial Time starting off from a 'Balea' or a floating wooden pontoon traditionally used for shellfish farming in the Galicia region.
The stage doesn't start until 7pm and heads south close to the coast for 27km on mostly flat roads, which should see some very fast speeds. It will be very important for those with GC ambitions to post good times to put themselves on the front foot heading in to the mountainous second stage. The riders should have a tail/slight cross wind for most of their journey south, so it will be the stronger teams who will fare best in possible blustery conditions.
Orica Green-Edge threw up a 20/1 surprise at the Tour in taking the Team Time Trial from OPQS but I can't see the same result this time around with many of the power houses they had for the Tour not taking to the starting ramp on Saturday afternoon. They are as big as 17/1 again for this one but I can't see it happening for a second time!
Omega Pharma Quick Step are the very short 5/4 favourites to win the stage and that is almost entirely down to the power of Tony Martin! Even in an almost crippled state he very nearly pulled the team to a stage win only to be pipped by OGE by less than a second. With Meersman, Stybar, Fenn and De Weert in the team they should be good enough to justify the favouritism and short odds.
Astana are second favourites at 11/4 - Nibali has the assistance of Grivko, Tiralongo, Brajkovic, Fuglsang and co in what looks like a very strong team. Its whether they can pull it together as well as OPQS is the question. Also - do Astana really want to be holding the leader's jersey so early in the race?
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