Chris Froome's Team Sky finish fourth on Vuelta a Espana time trial

Vuelta a Espana
The first stage in Nimes passed through a Roman amphitheatre

Team Sky's Chris Froome made an early dent on his rivals for the overall victory as BMC Racing won the opening team time trial at the Vuelta a Espana.

The Briton's team finished fourth in Nimes, France, nine seconds behind BMC, who put Rohan Dennis in the race lead.

Former champion Vincenzo Nibali is 22 seconds adrift of Froome, while Fabio Aru lost 32 and Romain Bardet 37.

"It's a good start," said Froome. "It's not the stage victory, but we're there or thereabouts with the best teams."

He added: "Compared to a lot of the other main rivals I think we can be really happy with how that's turned out.

"The main thing was for there not to be any massive mistakes or mishaps out on the road and to actually make time on most of our rivals is a great position to be in going into the first few stages of the race.

"The guys were fantastic. It definitely gives me a lot of confidence in the team for the three weeks to come."

The 32-year-old Tour de France champion is aiming to become just the third man to complete the Tour-Vuelta double in the same year - and the first since Bernard Hinault in 1978.

Team Sky finished with five men together - the clock stops when the fifth rider from the nine-man squads crosses the line - on a highly technical course through the narrow streets.

While Froome is down in 18th place, he also leads three-time winner Alberto Contador of Spain, who is retiring from professional cycling after the race, by 26 seconds.

Fellow Britons Adam and Simon Yates, who ride for Orica-Scott and could both go well after winning the best young rider classification at the Tour in the previous two years, are eight seconds behind Froome.

Australian rider Dennis will wear the race leader's red jersey after crossing the line first ahead of his team-mates.

The Vuelta stays in France for Sunday's second stage, a 203.4km route from Nimes to Gruissan.

Stage 2 map
Sunday's second stage is expected to suit the sprinters but the coastal route could be blighted by crosswinds

Stage one result

1. BMC Racing Team (US) 15 minutes 58 seconds

2. Quick-Step Floors (Bel) +6secs

3. Team Sunweb (Ger) Same time

4. Team Sky (GB) +9secs

5. Orica-Scott (Aus) +17secs

6. BORA-hansgrohe (Ger) +21secs

7. Lotto-Soudal (Bel) +24secs

8. Movistar Team (Sp) Same time

9. Bahrain-Merida (Bah) +31secs

10. Katusha-Alpecin (Swi) +33secs

General classification

1. Rohan Dennis (Aus/BMC Racing Team) 15mins 58secs

2. Daniel Oss (Ita/BMC Racing Team) Same time

3. Nicolas Roche (Ire/BMC Racing Team) Same time

4. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita/BMC Racing Team) Same time

5. Damiano Caruso (Ita/BMC Racing Team) Same time

6. Tejay van Garderen (US/BMC Racing Team) Same time

7. Yves Lampaert (Bel/Quick-Step Floors) +6secs

8. David De La Cruz (Spa/Quick-Step Floors) Same time

9. Bob Jungels (Lux/Quick-Step Floors) Same time

10. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Quick-Step Floors) Same time

Selected others

18. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) + 9secs

21. Ian Stannard (GB/Team Sky) Same time

24. Adam Yates (GB/Orica-Scott) +17secs

27. Simon Yates (GB/Orica-Scott) Same time

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