Giro d’Italia: Wiggins blasts into pink in Giro stage 1
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Giro d’Italia: Wiggins blasts into pink in Giro stage 1

by Ben Atkins at 12:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results
Tour hopeful rides into pink

Bradley WigginsBradley Wiggins (Team Sky) flew around the stage 1 time trial course in a time of 10’18” to take the victory and first maglia rosa of this year’s Giro d’Italia. The British time trial champion defied the wet, slippery conditions to beat previous leader Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) by 2 seconds. World road race champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) got his  Giro d’Italia campaign off to a good start by also finishing 2 seconds back in third place.

"I was in my own world - that's how I always do these things," said Wiggins about his approach to the stage.  "I was oblivious to anyone else and just did my own race. It was hard but I just went for it, especially in the corners. If you want to win it, you've got to commit 100 percent, like a sprinter when they go for a sprint."

On an overcast and drizzly Amsterdam afternoon, the early pace was set by Ukrainian Andriy Grivko (Astana), the fourteenth rider to start. His time of 10’31” was to stand for a long time, until World time trial championship silver medallist Gustav Erik Larsson (Saxo Bank) went six seconds faster with 10’25”. Marcel Sieberg (HTC-Columbia) pushed the Swede’s time close but finished 5 seconds outside. The next to challenge was Tom Stamsnijder (Rabobank), a late replacement for Koos Moerenhout, passing the halfway point with the fastest time so far, but he was to fade on the slippery closing stages and finished 4 seconds shy of Larsson.

Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti (HTC-Columbia) started as one of the big favourites but he too was to fade in the second part of the course to finish an agonising 2 seconds outside Larsson’s time. The Italian banged his handlebars with his fist as he saw his finishing time. As the rain fell harder, and with many of the later starters unlikely to take too many risks that might spoil their overall race ambitions, Larsson’s time looked increasingly like it may hold on to the end and give the Swede the first pink jersey of the race.

Despite the conditions Bookwalter powered his way around the course and finally managed to oust the Swede, smashing five seconds off it to put BMC Racing in pole position in the team’s first ever Grand Tour. Minutes later Greg Henderson (Team Sky) pushed the American’s time close, beating Larsson but unable to overhaul Bookwalter.

Briton’s David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) and Wiggins set off two minutes apart and it was clear that the smooth fast-spinning style of the younger Sky rider suited the urban circuit well. Millar managed to take provisional third place, until Wiggins finished that is, with the Olympic pursuit champion taking the lead, 2 seconds faster than Bookwalter.

The only riders following Wiggins that were in with a chance to beat his time were Evans, Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) and Tour de Romandie time trial winner Richie Porte (Saxo Bank). Evans almost exactly matched his teammate Bookwalter’s time to go into third place, while Vinokourov and Porte were to finish in similarly identical times, 5 seconds back.

With last man to start André Greipel (HTC-Columbia) finishing in 10’36”, 18 seconds slower than Wiggins, the Team Sky rider was confirmed as the winner, giving the new British team the lead in the first stage of its first ever Grand Tour.

2010 Giro d'Italia stage results:
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 10’18”
2. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team @ 2s
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team @ 2s
4. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Astana @ 5s
5. Greg Henderson (NZl) Team Sky @ 5s
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank @ 5s
7. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Transitions @ 6s
8. Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank @ 7s
9. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank @ 9s
10. Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Columbia @ 9s

Overall standings after stage 1:
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky


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