Herning - American Taylor Phinney pulled on
the race leader's pink jersey at the Giro d'Italia after winning the
opening stage time-trial held over 8.7km on Saturday.
Phinney, 21, finished nine seconds ahead of another former individual
pursuit specialist, Britain's Geraint Thomas, with Dane Alex Rasmussen
in third a further four seconds adrift.
On what is his maiden
participation in the three-week race, Phinney becomes the first American
to wear the pink jersey since Christian Vande Velde, who took the race
lead after winning the opening stage in Palermo in 2008.
who signed as a professional last year for the team of reigning Tour de
France champion Cadel Evans, was considered among the big favourites for
the wind-hit race against the clock, which handed him his first Grand
Tour stage win.
As well as winning the under-23 world title for
the time-trial in 2010, Phinney has twice won gold in the world
championships individual pursuit - an event which is no longer on the
Olympic programme - in 2010 and 2011.
He is also the son of
former cycling champions. Mother Connie Carpenter was the Olympic road
race champion in 1984, while father Davis Phinney was the first American
to win a stage at the Tour de France, in 1986.
Phinney is not
considered a contender for the overall title, but on the first day the
real contenders began counting the cost of their losses and gains.
Giro champion Michele Scarponi of Italy finished 1min 06sec off the
winning pace, thus giving up 27sec to former champion and compatriot
Ivan Basso and 30sec to Czech contender Roman Kreuziger.
climbing specialist Joaquim Rodriguez, meanwhile, was only four seconds
off the pace of Basso, while Luxembourg's Frank Schleck, a late addition
by his RadioShack team, was 20sec adrift of Basso.
resumes on Sunday with the wind expected to play a role when the peloton
tackle 206km around Herning, much of which will be along the coast.STAGE RESULTS
1. Taylor Phinney, United States, BMC Racing, 10 minutes, 26 seconds.
2. Geraint Thomas, Britain, Sky Procycling, 9 seconds behind.
3. Alex Rasmussen, Denmark, Garmin-Barracuda, :13.
4. Manuele Boaro, Italy, Saxo-Bank, :15.
5. Gustav Erik Larsson, Sweden, Vacansoleil, :22.
6. Ramunas Navardauskas, Lithuania, Garmin-Barracuda, :22.
7. Brett Lancaster, Australia, GreenEdge, :23.
8. Marco Pinotti, Italy, BMC Racing, :24.
9. Jesse Sergent, New Zealand, RadioShack-Nissan, :26.
10. Nelson Oliveira, Portugal, RadioShack-Nissan, :27.