• The dirt track in Marbella's Puerto Banus marina (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The Vuelta a España will get off to a controversial start after riders complained about the course safety for the opening 7.4km teams time trial from Puerto Banús to Marbella.
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21 Aug 2015 - 7:02 AM  UPDATED 22 Aug 2015 - 12:09 PM

UPDATE: The UCI has forced organisers to neutralise the TTT which means the times will not count on the GC for individuals but will to the team classification. 

“Having heard the concerns of teams and riders, and after an inspection of the course, the race jury decided that the stage will take place on the planned route. The recorded times will be counted for the team classification and not for the individual general classification.”

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Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Sky) and Australian Rory Sutherland (Movistar) were among several riders who challenged the safety and design of the course for the nine rider teams time trial to be held on Saturday.

During a reconassaince of the course, Froome, Sutherland and several other riders posted Twitter images of the boardwalk and sand-covered section which makes up a part of the opening stage.

The ride against the clock is described as "technical" and "narrow" by race organisers but no mention is made of the sand, boardwalk or rubber matting shown by riders on Twitter.

A meeting has been scheduled to try to find a solution to the issues raised by the riders but organisers have said it cannot be changed. Suggestions are that the stage will be neutralised with times not included on the general classification.