BENIDORM, Spain -- Jakob Fuglsang is the early leader of the Spanish Vuelta after his Leopard team won the opening day team time trial.
The Danish rider finished the 8.4-mile first stage in the southern coastal town of Benidorm in 16 minutes, 30 seconds. Defending champion Vicenzo Nibali came in just four seconds behind with his Liquigas team.
Two-time winner Denis Menchov was 43 seconds off the pace.
"I can win the Vuelta," Menchov said before the race. "I am mentally focused and I know I am physically strong."
On Sunday, the riders face a 109-mile course from La Nucia to Playas de Orihuela.
In its 66th edition, the 21-stage Vuelta is set to return to the Basque region for the first time in 33 years.