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Vuelta a España - Pamplona - Pamplona

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  1. 20:51 - The first Movistar rider to cross the line was Jonathan Castroviejo of Spain. He will wear the race's first red jersey tomorrow.

  2. 20:50 - Top ten in Pamplona: 1. Movistar 18:51, 2. Rabobank +10, 3. Omega Pharma +10, 4. BMC +10, 5. Sky +12, 6. Lotto +12, 7. Saxo Bank +14, 8. Katusha +15, 9. Euskaltel +28, 10. Astana +32.

  3. 20:47 - The crowds are going crazy in Pamplona as Movistar finish in a time of 18:51 to take the win. What a performance from the team of defending champion Juan Jose Cobo.

  4. 20:46 - Movistar win the team time trial by 10 seconds! What a time by the Spanish team.

  5. 20:45 - Just the one team to arrive now: Movistar. They were going strong but considering Sky's nosedive you'd think the Spanish team could go the same way. Although that said, they are looking very very strong as they approach the town centre!

  6. 20:42 - Saxo Bank are down to five riders as they drive for the line. They're sixth in 19:06. It looks like Rabobank will win this one!

  7. 20:38 - There's a surprise: Sky falter on the second half and cross the line in 19:03 and fourth place. Rabobank are still in the lead!

  8. 20:36 - Movistar still have a full quota of riders as they pass through the split, two seconds down on Sky. This is a decent ride for the Spanish team of Cobo and Valverde.

  9. 20:35 - Argos Shimano trickle over the line in a time of 19:49, that's 48 seconds down on Rabobank, the current leaders.

  10. 20:33 - Team Sky are down to six men already. Saxo Tinkoff have a full quota, with Contador riding hard on the front. They are four seconds down on Sky at the intermediate split. Sky lead in a time of 9:08.

  11. 20:28 - Movistar, the team of defending champion Juan Jose Cobo, are the final team down the ramp.

  12. 20:27 - Katusha cross the line to set quite an admirable time: 19:05 for fifth. So that's five teams all within four seconds - just what the organisers wanted. Garmin would probably have been there, had they not suffered that terrible crash.

  13. 20:23 - Welcome back Alberto: Saxo Bank are down the ramp and Contador makes his first appearance in a Grand Tour since his six-month ban.

  14. 20:23 - Lotto Belisol come close: they finish in a time of 19:04 with Jurgen van den Broeck leading them home. They had six riders in the picture at the end. Rabobank are still leading.

  15. 20:19 - Team Sky are now down the ramp. They are probably favourite today, riding for their man Chris Froome. Just two more teams to follow: Saxo and Movistar.

  16. 20:19 - Not bad for Euskaltel: they cross the line with a time of 19:18 - that's just 17 seconds off the summit. Igor Anton will be pleased.

  17. 20:15 - Argos Shimano are next down the ramp. Lotto are going strong - they still have a full quota as they pass the 5km-to-go banner.

  18. 20:15 - Astana's Assan Bazayev is driving too fast a pace on the closing section as he drops his team-mates. The fifth man crosses the line at 19:23, that's 22 down on the leaders, who seem to be Rabobank, despite the three-way tie with Omega Pharma and BMC.

  19. 20:11 - David Moncoutie's Cofidis is down the ramp now. The French veteran is going for a fifth consecutive king of the mountains classification this year...

  20. 20:11 - The Katusha team of Joaquim Rodriguez and Denis Menchov are on course now. Meanwhile, Vacansoleil cross the finish line in a time of 19:24. That's the fourth best so far.

  21. 20:06 - Omega Pharma cross the line with five riders two hundredths of a second under 19 minutes! They are the new leaders. Although the official timing says Rabobank, Omega Pharma and BMC are all tied for time on 19:01. This is slightly confusing.

  22. 20:05 - Astana are on course and they have gone through the first split just three seconds down on Omega Pharma.

  23. 20:02 - Rabobank have six riders as they tackle the demanding cobbled rise back into town. They lose one man as they approach the bullring... and they beat BMC by one second! We have a new target time of 19:00 for Rabobank on the top.

  24. 19:59 - Euskaltel are down the ramp, sporting their famous orange jerseys. They won't figure today, it's safe to say.

  25. 19:59 - Andalucia cross the line in 19:51, so that's 50 seconds down on the current leaders BMC.

  26. 19:58 - Omega Pharma have just set the best time at the split: 9:13. Rabobank are second, 8 seconds down, with BMC in third at 10.

  27. 19:56 - Fininshing with just five riders seems to be the norm today: Ag2R cross the line to take third place in a time of 19:25.

  28. 19:51 - Vacansoleil-DCM on course now. Their man for the GC is Thomas de Gendt, who was a surprise third on the Giro. The Belgian sat out the Tour because he was getting married. He's now on his Spanish honeymoon...

  29. 19:51 - FDJ also have just five riders as they cross the line in the bullring in a time of 19:48, that's 47 down on leaders BMC.

  30. 19:47 - Omega Pharma-QuickStep are down the ramp. Their man for the GC is Dario Cataldo. They should ride well here, with Tony Martin setting the pace.

  31. 19:47 - Rabobank are next to enter the bullring - and they too are down to just five riders. This demanding course is really doing some damage for many of the teams. They cross the line in 19:46 - that's 45 seconds slower than BMC.

  32. 19:44 - Down the ramp go Rabobank as the Dutch team get their race underway. They will have high hopes for climbing duo Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema.

  33. 19:43 - Lampre only have five riders and they cross the line in 19:45, that's 44 seconds down on BMC's target time of 19:01.

  34. 19:42 - Lampre slog it out up the final rise back into town. The Italian outfit will be next to finish. They were down 22 seconds on BMC at the intermediate check.

  35. 19:40 - Andalucia, their riders all in blue, are next to leave. They won't feature in the GC but have some tidy climbers.

  36. 19:38 - The temperature is down to 35 degrees now. That's still considerably hot, considering it's almost 8pm.

  37. 19:36 - Ag2R-La Mondiale are next to go. They have Nicolas Roche and John Gadret in their team. Roche will join Saxo Bank next season.

  38. 19:35 - Philippe Gilbert leads BMC into the bullring and over the line to take the best time so far: 21 seconds faster than GreenEdge. The Belgian could be in red tonight. Although Team Sky, the favourites, are yet to start.

  39. 19:32 - Garmin come home in a time of 20:19 - that's almost a minute down on GreenEdge and only three seconds better than local Pro Conti team Caja Rural. That crash really took the wind out of their sails.

  40. 19:30 - BMC have gone through the first check six seconds quicker than Garmin.

  41. 19:30 - Garmin had set the benchmark at the split, one second up on GreenEdge, but they are down to five men after that crash - and had to wait for one rider to rejoin in order to give them the five-man quota needed to post a time.

  42. 19:28 - Lampre are also on course. We missed their start because of that Garmin crash.

  43. 19:27 - RadioShack are down the ramp as Garmin try to regroup after that mass crash. More information on that when we get it.

  44. 19:27 - GreenEdge cross the line in a time of 19:29 to move into the lead.

  45. 19:25 - CRASH: Terrible for Garmin as four of their riders spin off on a tight corner.

  46. 19:25 - GreenEdge were 30 seconds quicker than Caja Rural at the first check, so expect them to almost take a minute at the finish.

  47. 19:22 - Caja Rural are onto the punchy rise back into town. The streets of Pamplona are pretty much all cobbled, which is tricky for the riders. There are also loads of leaves on the course, oddly enough. They cross the line to set the first time in the bullring. 20:22 is the target for GreenEdge.

  48. 19:19 - Liquigas roll down the ramp, which at 37 metres long is one of the longest ever seen in Grand Tours.

  49. 19:17 - Spanish legend Miguel Indurain is present at the start today and has labelled the course "spectacular".

  50. 19:16 - All in all, there are 30 different nations represented in the Vuelta this year, with Spain boasting 48 riders.

  51. 19:15 - Next up is BMC's league of nations. Britain's Steve Cummings is here, as is Philippe Gilbert and Alessandro Ballan. They have had a pretty torrid season, and Gilbert in particular will want to finally get his first win of the season in Spain.

  52. 19:14 - Talansky is in good good form though, winning the Tour de l'Ain earlier this month.

  53. 19:11 - Now it's Garmin-Sharp, who have sent a relatively inexperienced team to the Vuelta. They're usually quite, erm, sharp in team time trials - but they will be outsiders for the win today. Garmin's man for the GC is Andrew Talansky, although the 23-year-old American is making his Grand Tour debut so we should not expect too much.

  54. 19:07 - Orica-GreenEdge the next team up: they have eight Aussies, one Dutchman, a New Zealander and one Eritrean (Daniel Teklehaymanot - the first rider from Eritrea to feature in a Grand Tour, in fact).

  55. 19:03 - They're off! Caja Rural zip down the ramp and the 67th Vuelta a Espana is underway. The local boys are in white jerseys and shorts with a red sash and red helmets and boots.

  56. 19:00 - It's a flat but technical 16.5km course in and around Pamplona. The nine riders of local boys Caja Rural are ready on the ramp, about to get this race underway.

  57. 18:55 - Start list, continued: 12. Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 19:47, 13. Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team - 19:51, 14. Astana Pro Team - 19:55, 15. Euskaltel-Euskadi - 19:59, 16. Lotto Belisol Team - 20:03, 17. Katusha Team - 20:07, 18. Cofidis, le credit en ligne - 20:11, 19. Team Argos-Shimano - 20:15, 20. Team Sky - 20:19, 21. Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank - 20:23, 22. Movistar Team - 20:27.

  58. 18:50 - Start times (local time): 1. Caja Rural - 19:03, 2. Orica-GreenEdge - 19:07, 3. Garmin-Sharp - 19:11, 4. BMC Racing Team - 19:15, 5. Liquigas-Cannondale - 19:19, 6. Lampre-ISD - 19:23, 7. Radioshack-Nissan - 19:27, 8. FDJ-Big Mat - 19:31, 9. AG2R La Mondiale - 19:35, 10. Andalucia - 19:39, 11. Rabobank Cycling Team - 19:43

  59. 18:45 - It may be the early evening but it's very hot in northern Spain, with temperatures in the early 40s.

  60. 18:40 - Today's stage starts in Pamplona's town centre and finishes in the town's main bullring. 22 teams of 198 riders in total are involved. Getting things off will be the local Pro Continental team Caja Rural, who will roll down the start ramp in the historic Plaza del Castillo square at 19:03 local time. Teams will leave at four-minute intervals, ending up with the Movistar team of reigning champion Juan Jose Cobo.

  61. 18:30 - The defending champion is Spain's Juan Jose Cobo (Movistar - but then of Geox) who beat Chris Froome (Team Sky) by a slender 13 seconds last year after a thrilling duel. Cobo is not amongst the race favourites this year, however, with public opinion predicting a showdown between Briton Froome and Spaniard Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank), who is making is return from a six-month suspension. Race preview: Contador vs Froome?

  62. 18:25 - Pamplona has not featured in the Vuelta for 18 years: the last time was in 1994 when Frenchman Laurent Jalabert won stage 13.

  63. 18:20 - Hello and welcome to Eurosport Yahoo's live coverage of the opening stage of the 67th edition of the Vuelta a Espana! The 2012 race gets going with an intriguing prologue-style team time trial around the streets of Pamplona which is due to get under way at 19:00 local time - that's 6pm UK time.

 

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