Giro d’Italia: Team Sky puts Salvatore Puccio into the pink in Ischia team time trial
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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Giro d’Italia: Team Sky puts Salvatore Puccio into the pink in Ischia team time trial

by Ben Atkins at 11:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results
British team puts time into Bradley Wiggins’ overall rivals in technical 17.4km test

 Salvatore PuccioTeam Sky powered to victory in the 2013 Giro d’Italia’s second stage team time trial, between Ischia and Forio, to put 23-year-old Italian Salvatore Puccio into the Maglia Rosa. The British team completed the spectacular, technical 17.4km course across the Tyrrhenian island of Ischia in a time of 22 minutes and five seconds, which was nine seconds faster than the Movistar Team and 14 seconds quicker than Astana.

Like most teams, Sky finished with just five riders, with Puccio accompanied by compatriot Dario Cataldo, race favourite Bradley Wiggins, and Colombians Sergio Henao and Rigoberto Urán. Italian time trial champion Cataldo was given the honour of crossing the finish line first, but - with all five riders on the same time - Puccio took the race lead thanks to his superior finishing position on stage one.

“It was only two minutes before we celebrated the stage win on the podium that I realised I was the new Maglia Rosa,” said Puccio afterwards. “To tell the truth, we planned to put my team-mate Dario Cataldo in either Maglia Rosa or the Maglia Bianca today. When they told me I was the new Maglia Rosa, I was a bit shocked, but also very, very happy. It all happened so quickly that it hasn’t really sunk in yet and I think it will be hard to sleep tonight.

“Everyone who ever rides a bike dreams of wearing this jersey,” he added. “After two years of working hard for the team, today I took a small moment of satisfaction for myself. It’s no secret that the team want the Maglia Rosa later in the race. Of course, I’d like to keep the jersey for many days, but I doubt it will happen.”

Stage one winner Mark Cavendish, wearing an all-pink skinsuit as part of the World time trial champion Omega Pharma-Quick Step team, finished in a time of 22 minutes 53 seconds, losing 40 seconds and conceding his race lead to his former teammate.

Garmin-Sharp finished 25 seconds behind Team Sky in seventh place, with defending champion Ryder Hesjedal conceding time to Wiggins after just two days of the race.

Team Sky lays down the gauntlet early and nobody can pick it up

Colombia was the first team to set off down the ramp, and the South Americans finished in a time of 23 minutes and one second, which was unlikely to stay at the top for long. Sure enough the very next team, AG2R La Mondiale, lowered the best time to 22’55”, but this was immediately beaten by Blanco Pro Cycling with 22’33”.

The Dutch team proceeded to see off the challenges from Bardiani-CSF, Argos-Shimano, Saxo-Tinkoff and Lotto-Belisol, but the eighth team to ride was Team Sky. Setting a mark of 10’12” at the intermediate checkpoint, in Casamicciola Terme after 7.9km, the British team continued to the finish in 22’05”; 28 seconds quicker than Blanco, and almost a minute faster than the original mark set by Colombia.

Vini Fantini-Selle Italia then slotted into provisional second place, with 22’27”, with Vacansoleil-DCM and Cannondale posting 22’39” and 22’40” respectively. Then Katusha went closest of all with 22’19”, just 14 seconds slower than Team Sky.

Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela set a time of 22’51”, and then there was drama from Euskaltel-Euskadi as the Basque team lost its fifth rider in the final technical kilometre as Ricardo Mestre apparently suffered a puncture. Neeeding five riders to record a time, the first four were forced to slow down to wait; cruising over he line in just under 23 minutes; the unfortunate Mestre finally made it across to stop the clock in 23’06”.

Lampre-Merida was the very next team and almost suffered the same fate, but the leading four waited for the fifth rider this time and the team still managed to post a respectable time of 22’27”.

Movistar went fastest at the intermediate checkpoint, two seconds quicker than Team Sky in 10’10”, but faded a little in the second half to finish in 22’14”, nine seconds outside the British team’s time.

Astana, still had six riders and was looking as though it might threaten the lead. The Kazakh team split into two threes in the final metres, and finished in a time of 22’19” to go into provisional third.

Final team to start Omega Pharma-Quick Step was already 24 seconds down on Movistar - and so 22 on Team Sky - at the intermediate check, which meant that Puccio was already in the provisional lead.

FDJ and RadioShack-Leopard both finished without troubling the top of the standings, while Garmin-Sharp - which had been tipped as a possible winner - was looking ragged into the final kilometre but held it together to finish in 22’30”. The BMC Racing Team then posted a slightly disappointing 22’42”.

Orica-GreenEdge was another team splitting in the final kilometres, with the technical final descent seeing two of its remaining five riders almost crash, but it just managed to slot into the top ten with 22’31”.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step - the World team time trial champion, albeit without most of its specialists - then crossed the line in 22’53” to take 17th place and confirm Team Sky’s victory.

Result stage 2
1. Team Sky (GBr), 17.4km in 22'05"
2. Movistar Team (Spa) @ 9s
3. Team Astana (Kaz) @ 14s
4. Katusha Team (Rus) @ 19s
5. Vini Fantini-Selle Italia (Ita) @ 22s
6. Lampre-Merida (Ita)
7. Garmin-Sharp (USA) @ 25s
8. Blanco Pro Cycling (Ned) @ 28s
9. Orica-GreenEdge (Aus)
10. Vacansoleil-DCM (Ned) @ 34s
11. Cannondale Pro Cycling (Ita) @ 35s
12. BMC Racing Team (USA) @ 37s
13. Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox (Ita) @ 41s
14. RadioShack-Leopard (Lux) @ 43s
15. Team Saxo-Tinkoff (Den)
16. Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela (Ita) @ 46s
17. Omega Pharma-Quick Step (Bel) @ 48s
18. AG2R La Mondiale (Fra) @ 50s
19. FDJ (Fra) @ 55s
20. Colombia (Col) @ 56s
21. Lotto-Belisol (Bel) @ 1’00”
22. Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa) @ 1’07”
23. Team Argos-Shimano (Ned) @ 1’13”

Standings after stage 2
1. Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky
2. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
3. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky
4. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky
5. Rigoberto Urán (Col) Team Sky
6. Beñat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar Team @ 9s
7. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
8. Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team
9. Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team
10. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team


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