Team Sky beat Movistar by fractions of a second in the 28.7-km inaugural team time trial in Castrel de Mino to make Peter Kennaugh the first leader of the 71st Vuelta on Saturday. The race opener was a tight and promising battle between Chris Froome's and Nairo Quintana's teams with Esteban Chaves's Orica-BiekeExchange a close third, six seconds behind.
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Deep waters, warm waters
The organiser of the Vuelta a España wishes to make clear that this year's edition begins in one of the main thermal centres in Europe. Since Roman times, thermal baths and wellness spas have featured among Ourense's many attractive qualities. The term SPA dates back to that time, salus per aquam means health from water, which today brings travellers seeking healing, relief or simply relaxation.
In truth, there are both natural and thermal springs all throughout Galicia, where the rocks are very ancient (the majority of them formed over 250 million years ago). When Europe and Africa drew closer to each other to assume their current positions, the rocks, ancient and rigid, fractured forming very deep faults. These faults can be thousands of metres deep and the water runs through them, heating up near the Earth's crust, and then returns to the surface through other faults. This is how the water reaches us with temperatures over 60º C, and carrying with it everything that it has dissolved on its long journey. This water contains such dissolved elements as lithium, sodium, potassium, magnesium and sulphur, which give the water all of its mineral and medicinal properties.
These fractures are also responsible for the Galician topography, as its rivers forge the valleys as they flow, making the most of the fact that the movements of the faults has grinded the adjacent rocks. If ever proof were needed, one must only look at the Miño River from the sky in order to see the fractured outline of its canyon, which marks the exact outline of the faults. If that were not enough, there are several wellness spas all along the river that are now becoming fashionable once again, just as they were at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Jersey wearers after the stage 21
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