Giro – First strike to Orica


Aussie Simon Gerrans of Orica GreenEdge was all smiles on the podium wearing pink after his team, fastest in the race against the watch, delivered him to the finish line first

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Giro – First strike to Orica

Aussie Simon Gerrans of Orica GreenEdge was all smiles on the podium wearing pink after his team delivered him to the finish line first in the Team Time Trial. Gerrans, who has suffered four crashes this season, breaking his collarbone and fracturing his elbow in the process, celebrated the victory with his teammates with copious amounts of champagne spraying.

Orcia GreenEdge beat the team of favourite Albert Contador, Tinkoff-Saxo by seven seconds. Contador is looking to become the first man to achieve a Giro/Tour de France double since the late Marco Pantani of Italy in 1998. He leads Italian Fabio Aru, third overall last year, by six seconds after the local hope’s Astana team took third place in the race against the watch.

Etixx Quickstep’s Rigoberto Uran, runner-up in the last two editions of the race sits twelve seconds behind Contador after his finished fourth 19 seconds off the pace.

Team Sky’s Aussie Richie Porte, another of the race favourites, finished the test 27 seconds behind his compatriot Gerrans as Porte’s Team Sky were only 9th in the TTT.

ORICA-GreenEDGE conquer Giro d’Italia team time trial to put Gerrans in pink
“If I could chop the front of this jersey into nine pieces and share it amongst my teammates I would,” Gerrans said. “Then the back of the jersey needs to be chopped into about 50 pieces for everyone involved in the ORICA-GreenEDGE organisation because it’s a real credit to everybody within the team that we have these successes.”


As riders negotiated the fast and flat course along the Italian coastline, much of which via a narrow bike path, a head wind assisted the strong team which included time trial specialists Michael Hepburn, Luke Durbridge, Sam Bewley and Brett Lancaster. “We weren’t quite sure what to expect with the bike path but it ended up being a fantastic course, a little technical in parts but very fast,” Gerrans said. “Then with the head wind we had, it really suited the strong team we had here.”

Gerrans was thrilled to pull on the leader’s jersey to end a tough start to the season. “I’ve had a difficult start to this year but I said all along things can change really quickly and I can’t think of a better way,” the 34-year-old said. “I hope everyone in Australia stayed up late to watch the stage and I hope my mates in Mansfield understand the significance of this win here and why I am wearing a pink shirt.”

“I think it was a nice day for us,” Etixx – Quick-Step’s Uran said. “We did a good team time trial. It was a bit more windy than yesterday, and that made the course even harder. It would have been difficult to win today because there are teams like Orica-GreenEDGE that are more structured in the 2015 Giro for this kind of effort”.

“But we are happy. We prepared well for this race and we can’t complain about a 4th place finish. Starting tomorrow it is basically a whole new race. It will be a difficult first week including a difficult 3rd stage and even an uphill finish in the 5th stage. But what we learned from the last Giro d’Italia is that everyday something can happen. We will do our best and look forward to the next days.”

Disappointment for Sky
Team Sky finished a lowly ninth clocking a time of 19.53 for the 17.6 kilometre course. After the stage Porte admitted that, while early time loss is not ideal, it’s the high mountains later in the three-week race where the real time will be won and lost.

“I think we were good today. Everyone was smooth and solid. We did a good job,” said the Tasmanian to “The race is not going to be won today. At the end of the day, it’s seconds now but it’s going to be minutes in the end. You can get carried away during the whole first week about losing seconds”.

“It’s not ideal to lose time but it’s not the end of the world. It’s nice to just get the race started. Coming in here I feel fresh and ready to keep fighting.”

Contador happy

Tinkoff-Saxo delivered a strong opening team time trial in Giro d’Italia for their leader Alberto Contador. “I’m very happy. Not only for the result but also because everybody on the team gave a hundred percent during the race” said race favourite Contador. “In general, our performance was really good despite one moment where we lost organization”.

“But we can be really happy about the result, as we have taken time on all our rivals. The time gaps between the favorites are not big, but I’ll for instance have some time on my direct rivals when we face the ITT. It’s always ideal to be ahead”, says Alberto Contador, who’s not surprised by the team’s performance on stage 1.

“I knew that we had a very strong team to do a good race, so finishing as we did today doesn’t surprise me. From now on, we will have to take it day by day. I know that it’s something you always say, but it doesn’t make it less true, as in a grand tour you always have to be attentive on every stage. I’m already enjoying racing here in Italy with the atmosphere and fans and each moment is always very pleasant for me at Giro”, adds Alberto Contador.

Tomorrow, the Giro d’Italia road stages commence with a 177km journey from Albenga to Genova. With just one category four classified climb, over 50km from the finish, stage two is expected to come down to a bunch sprint.

1. Orica GreenEdge 19:26
2. Tinkoff-Saxo @ 07 secs
3. Astana @ 13
4. Etixx – Quick-Step @ 19
5. Movistar @ 21
6. BMC @ 25
7. IAM Cycling @ 25
8. FDJ @ 26
9. Team Sky @ 27
10. Team Katusha @ 27
11. Trek Factory Racing @ 29
12. Lotto Soudal @ 29
13. Team LottoNL-Jumbo @ 36
14. Bardiani CSF @ 37
15. CCC Sprandi Polkowice @ 45
16. AG2R La Mondiale @ 48
17. Team Giant-Alpecin @ 49
18. Southeast Pro Cycling @ 52
19. Cannondale-Garmin @ 53
20. Nippo – Vini Fantini @ 57
21. Lampre-Merida @ 59
22. Androni Giocattoli @ 1:03

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