Ischia - Italian Salvatore Puccio took possession of the Giro d'Italia pink jersey
from overnight leader Mark Cavendish on Sunday as Team Sky and race favourite
Bradley Wiggins claimed their maiden team time trial win on a Grand Tour on the
island of Ischia.
Cavendish had sprinted to victory in the opening stage of the three-week
race on Saturday to pull on the race leader's pink jersey for the third time in
But despite their best efforts, Cavendish and his Omega-Pharma team were no
match for Team Sky over the winding 17.4 km course on the scenic island which
sits off the coast of Naples.
Cavendish, a 23-time stage winner on the Tour de France, won his 11th Giro
stage on Saturday and said his team would do their best to protect the race
lead when the Giro visited Ischia for the first time in 54 years.
However Omega-Pharma could finish only 17th in the 23-team field in a time
of 22min 53sec that was 48sec behind Team Sky.
"I'm a little disappointed in myself not to have held on to this
beautiful pink jersey," said Cavendish. "But it was a very technical
Puccio was Team Sky's best placed rider after the opening stage, handing him
the race's top prize - which team leader Wiggins is hoping to secure at the end
of the race on May 26.
Puccio - born and raised in Sicily - admitted that being overall leader had
come as something of a surprise.
"Today was an incredible result and it is a huge surprise. I could
never have thought this morning that I would be pulling on the pink jersey. It
"Once again the team showed how strong we are. Everyone put in a huge
effort and it is very satisfying to be part of a big team result like this.
"For an Italian rider the pink jersey is one of the best things that
can happen to you."
Team Sky topped the times in 22min 05sec, nine seconds ahead of Movistar and
14 ahead of the Astana team of overall victory contender Vincenzo Nibali.
Nibali has been touted as the man most likely to stand in the way of Wiggins
following his 2012 Tour de France triumph with victory in stage racing's second
most prestigious race.
Despite losing time to the Briton, the Sicilian was philosophical about his
team's performance on a "hard and fast" course where he said Astana
hit speeds of 70km/h on the small downhill sections.
"For me it was a very good performance," said Nibali. We're not a
specialist time trial team, we're a team composed mainly of climbers."
Astana were far from the worst team containing overall victory contenders.
The Garmin team of defending champion Ryder Hesjedal trailed in seventh
place at 25sec behind Sky and Wiggins.
Former Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, is even further off the pace.
The Australian was the fourth of the five BMC riders who crossed the finish
line in 12th at 37secs behind Sky.
BMC's assistant director Max Sciandri said the team had been let down on the
hillier sections. "I think if you look at the winning team, it is more of
an imprint of a climber team.
"We had some really good guys who can go on the flats like a regular
time trial. But we struggled a little bit with some guys on the climbs. But I
don't think we could have given anything more."
Evans added: "Thirty-seven seconds is a little bit below what I had
hoped or expected, but that's the way it is. The guys put in everything.
Someone like Klaas Lodewyck - he really gave it absolutely everything he had
today, so I'm certainly not going to ask anything more of him."
Results from the second stage of the Giro d'Italia, a 17.4 km team time trial held on the island of Ischia on Sunday:
1. Team Sky 22min 05sec, 2. Movistar at 09secs, 3. Astana 14, 4. Katusha 19, 5. Vini Fantini 22, 6. Lampre same time, 7. Garmin 25, 8. Blanco 28, 9. Orica-GreenEdge s.t., 10. Vacansoleil 34, 11. Cannondale 35, 12. BMC 37, 13. Bardiani Valvole 41, 14. RadioShack 43, 15. Team Saxo-Tinkoff 43
Selected: 17. Omega-Pharma 48
1. Salvatore Puccio (ITA) Team Sky 3hr 20min 43sec, 2. Bradley Wiggins(GBR/SKY) same time, 3. Sergio Henao (COL/SKY), 4. Dario Cataldo (ITA/SKY) s.t., 5. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) s.t., 6. Benat Elorriaga (ESP/EUS) at 09sec, 7. Giovanni Visconti (ITA/MOV) s.t., 8. Jose Lopez (ESP/MOV) s.t., 9. Alex Dowsett (GBR/MOV) s.t., 10. Eros Capecchi (ITA/MOV) s.t., 11. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 14, 12. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) s.t., 13. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) s.t., 14. Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE/AST) s.t., 15. Paolo Tiralongo (ITA/AST) s.t.
Selected: 23. Michele Scarponi (ITA/LAM) 22, 35. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 25, 60. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 37