Bradley Wiggins and his Team Sky teammates showed they are the team to watch this year as riders donned the fancy helmets for Stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia, a team time trial on the island of Ischia, just off the coast of Naples.
Team Sky won the 17.4 kilometre time trial in a time of 22:05, 9 seconds clear of second placed Movistar. With Vincenzo Nibali and his Astana teammates finishing 3rd on the stage, 14 seconds behind Sky, Wiggins now has a decent time advantage over his rivals. Ryder Hesjedal and his Garmin Sharp outfit finished 25 seconds behind Sky, while Cadel Evans’s BMC team finished 37 seconds adrift.
Sky’s Salvatore Puccio now leads the General Classification and will start tomorrow’s stage in the pink jersey, with 4 Sky riders all on the same time but Puccio’s higher placing on Stage 1 giving him top spot in the GC. The 23 year old Italian only joined the professional ranks last year, and he’ll be delighted to find himself in pink, while Wiggins will be more than happy for someone else to assume the jersey for now.
The time trial course was quite tricky, with four tough little climbs and a series of technical corners keeping the riders honest, and with the warm weather encountered, many riders struggled, none more so than the riders from Euskaltel-Euskadi who only had 4 riders in their group when they finished the course, the clock continuing to tick until their 5th rider crossed the line some 20 seconds after the first 4 riders.
Tomorrow’s stage is 220 kilometres from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea and contains 2 categorised climbs, the Category 2 climb up San Mauro Cilento and the Category 3 climb up Sella di Catona, followed by a 20 kilometre descent to the finish. It’s not expected to be a stage where big moves are made, but after disappointing days today you wonder if the likes of Hesjedal and Evans might be keen to chance their arms early.