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April 26, 2017

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Dream start for Quintana's Movistar team with 14:13 Tour of Spain win

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, Spain -- Giro d'Italia champion Nairo Quintana got his quest to win the Tour of Spain off to a flying start as his Movistar team won the opening stage team time trial on Saturday.

Spaniard Jonathan Castroviejo led his team to victory in a time of 14 minutes 13 seconds to take the leader's jersey, six seconds ahead of Cannondale and Orica Green-Edge.

However, it was a poor start for 2013 Tour de France champion Chris Froome as he lost 27 seconds on Quintana as Team Sky finished back in 11th.

"We have been preparing all season for a team time trial like this one," said Castroviejo.

However, Castroviejo refused to be drawn on who between Quintana and 2009 Tour of Spain champion Alejandro Valverde would be the team leader throughout the three-week tour.

"Until we get to the mountains we don't know who we will be supporting," said the 27-year-old.

Froome was making his return to action after crashing out of this year's Tour de France with hand and wrist injuries.

He was one of many riders to crash on the 12.6 km route through Jerez de la Frontera in training and seemed content just to make it to the finish line without any further incidents.

There were no such problems for Quintana and Valverde as Movistar set off last and were always ahead of the rest of the pack before Castroviejo led them across the line.

Another former winner Alberto Contador finished 19 seconds off the leaders as the Spaniard's Tinkoff-Saxo team were down in seventh.

Contador is also on the comeback trail after a nasty shinbone injury at the Tour de France and insisted he is not in the running for the overall victory despite finishing eight seconds ahead of Froome.

"This doesn't change anything. I have told you I am going day-by-day," said the two-time Tour de France winner.

"The most important thing was to test my legs."

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