Puccio takes Giro pink jersey

2013-05-05 17:33
Salvatore Puccio (Getty Images)

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 his career.

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 course."

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 is incredible!

"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

General classification

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

Read more on:    giro d'italia  |  cycling

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.