Hayden Roulston was part of a winning HTC-Columbia team in opening team time trial of the Vuelta a Espana last night.
The Kiwi and his team mates came through the 13 kilometre late night race against the clock through the streets of Seville in Spain ten seconds faster than second placed Liquigas-Doimo on the flat fast course to record his first Grand Tour podium win.
“It was just awesome – the team was awesome and it’s a great start and was fantastic to stand on the top step of the podium with the team,” Roulston said.
Team mate Mark Cavendish was the first HTC-Columbia rider across the line making him the race’s first leader.
Roulston crashed recently in a one day race in Italy putting doubt into his ability to start the seasons last Grand Tour, but he showed overnight he is ready to race and said he expects to improve as the three week event unfolds.
After focusing on getting his race legs back during the first week of the three week tour, Roulston has set his sights on an individual stage win.
“Everything is looking good and I expect to improve every day and should get back to the form I was in when I crashed during the tour.”
“My goals for the race are clear. I want a stage win, that’s in my mind and regardless of how good or bad this first week goes I’ll hold on to that thought. I want to be strong for the team as well as we have Cavendish racing and he is by far the fastest sprinter in the world right now; so getting him a few wins is high on the teams agenda.”