Gesink, Jumbo-Visma lead La Vuelta after winning Utrecht time trial; City traffic tied up
Robert Gesink is the first leader of the Tour of Spain. His team, Jumbo-Visma, won the first stage in Utrecht, a team time trial over more than 23 kilometers. The 36-year-old cyclist was the first to push across the line.
Jumbo-Visma, who started last for the day, achieved a time of 24 minutes and 40 seconds. Ineos Grenadiers was second with a time of 24:53. The Quick-Step - Alpha Vinyl team was 1 second behind.
The second stage will follow on Saturday, which runs from Den Bosch to Utrecht. After Sunday's stage, with a start and finish in Breda, the Vuelta will continue in Spain on Tuesday.
The first team to participate in the Vuelta departed Utrecht on Friday just after 6:30 p.m. It was pleasantly busy on Friday evening along the route and there was a good atmosphere among the public. The training session already drew many people out to watch, with spectators arriving from across the Netherlands and abroad.
The city was to be closed in many places until late in the evening. This sometimes caused to frustration for people who run into detours and blocked off areas. A large part of Utrecht was difficult to reach from 3 p.m. because through roads were closed in connection with the cycling race. It was difficult for people to get in or out of the city. The cycling route was organized through all the districts of the city.
Early in the afternoon the first people were looking for a good spot behind the crush barriers. Some spectators brought kitchen stepladders while others sat ringside on a terrace. The riders explored the course from 4 p.m. The 'green' caravan left the Jaarbeurs at 5:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. the first team started the time trial. Jumbo-Visma arrived around 8:30 p.m., the last team to participate for the day.
The riders rode along the Singel, over the Maliebaan, the oldest cycle path in the Netherlands. The race then went at full speed to Overvecht, where the teams looped towards Leidsche Rijn.
The ANWB Traffic Service advised Vuelta visitors to make the last part of their journey towards the city center by bicycle or public transport. People arriving by car were advised to park outside the center of Utrecht.
Reporting by ANP