Giro d'Italia 2013: Team Sky win team time trial

 

Team Sky have won stage two of the Giro d'Italia, a 17.4km team time trial on the island of Ischia, to take control of the race leader's pink jersey.

Britain's Mark Cavendish led going into stage two but his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team finished 48 seconds adrift of Sky to put Salvatore Puccio in pink.

Sky, led by Sir Bradley Wiggins, won in 22 minutes and five seconds.

The Briton gained an advantage of 14 seconds over rival Vincenzo Nibali and 25 over 2012 winner Ryder Hesjedal.

"I'm very very proud," Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford told BBC Sport. "It was a technical course and it was a hard course and they rode fantastically well.

Analysis

"That was a big marker laid down by Team Sky. It showed their strength in depth to the other teams and they have stamped their authority on the race. It could not have gone better.

"They wouldn't have chosen to take the pink jersey this early in the race but Puccio will be delighted and at least he will have to deal with the extra media work and publicity that goes with being race leader and Wiggins can slip into the background.

"Ideally, they would have been looking to take it after the individual time trial on stage eight.

"Team Sky have been a bit up and down on team time trials in the last couple of years so it was a good time to pull one out of the bag,"

"There was no flat where they could really open it up so it was more like a power climb, a descent and about keeping the team together and they did a brilliant ride.

"Our plan for winning the race doesn't change one iota, this is a fantastic day and it's great for Salvatore [to be the race leader] and great for the team but the plan doesn't change."

Wiggins and his eight Sky team-mates were expected to do well on a technical course and it is the races against the clock that the Olympic time trial champion must excel in if he is to achieve his ambition of becoming the first British rider to win the Giro.

There are two individual time trials to come, on stages eight and 18, for Wiggins to put more seconds into his main rivals, who are arguably better climbers and will look to claw back the time in the mountains.

Sky were the eighth of the 23 teams to set out on the course and rode at an average speed of 47.275 kph to set a challenging time that would not be bettered.

Movistar, with Britain's Alex Dowsett, came closest and led by two seconds at the 8km time check but they faded in the second half of the race to finish nine seconds adrift.

Nibali's Astana team and Hesjedal's Garmin outfit were always off the pace and finished 14 and 25 seconds adrift respectively, while BMC Racing were 37 seconds off the pace to dent Cadel Evans's hopes of adding the Giro title to his 2011 Tour de France win.

Cavendish may have the lost the pink jersey but he is the leader in the points race and will wear the red jersey on stage three.

Puccio, 23, riding in his first Grand Tour, takes the pink jersey, despite being credited with the same overall race time as Wiggins, because he was the best-placed of Sky's riders on the opening stage.

"It's a surprise to have taken the pink jersey but I'm very happy," said the Sicilian, who turned professional last year.

"The idea was for it to go to [Italian team-mate Dario] Cataldo, but I hung on in there, and finished in the same time as the rest of the squad.

"I have to thank the team for this special moment. For an Italian rider to pull on the maglia rosa is one of the best things that can happen to you."

Monday's stage three is a 222km ride down the Amalfi coast from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea.

Stage Two result:

1. Team Sky (GB) 22:05"

2. Movistar (Spa) +9"

3. Astana (Kaz) +14"

4. Katusha (Rus) +19"

5. Vini Fantini (Ita) +22"

Selected others:

7. Garmin (US) +25"

12. BMC Racing (US) +37"

17. Omega Pharma - Quick Step (Bel) +48"

General classification:

1. Salvatore Puccio (Ita/Team Sky) 3:20:43"

2. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Team Sky) same time

3. Sergio Henao (Col/Team Sky)

4. Dario Cataldo (Ita/Team Sky)

5. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Team Sky)

6. Benat Intxausti (Spa/Movistar) +9"

7. Giovanni Visconti (Ita/Movistar)

8. Jose Herrada (Spa/Movistar)

9. Alex Dowsett (GB/Movistar)

10. Eros Capecchi (Ita/Movistar)