Bradley Wiggins lands psychological blow with Giro d’Italia team time trial victory

Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky stamped their authority on the Giro d’Italia with team time trial victory on stage two to put Salvatore Puccio in the overall lead.

Team Sky completed the technical 17.4km course on the island of Ischia in 22 minutes and five seconds, with Movistar second and Astana third.

Mark Cavendish won stage one in Naples to take the first maglia rosa of the 2013 Giro but his Omega Pharma-QuickStep squad could only finish 17th to surrender the race lead.

Team Sky power to team time trial victory

Victory for Team Sky and Wiggins, who is now second behind team-mate Puccio on the general classification, sees the Tour de France champion land an early psychological blow on his rivals for the Giro d’Italia title.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is now 14 seconds adrift of the Team Sky rider, while defending champion Ryder Hesjedal, whose Garmin-Sharp squad finished seventh, is 25 seconds back. BMC Racing finished 12th, leaving Cadel Evans 37 seconds behind Wiggins.

Team Sky crossed the line with five riders remaining from the nine who rolled off the start ramp and Puccio, Wiggins, Sergio Henao, Dario Cataldo and Rigoberto Uran all now occupy the top five spots in the general classification.

Puccio leads the race having been Team Sky’s best-placed finisher on stage one and the 23-year-old paid tribute to his team-mates after pulling on the leader’s jersey at his home Grand Tour.

“Today was an incredible result and it is a huge surprise,” said the Italian. “I could never have thought this morning that I would be pulling on the maglia rosa. 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 maglia rosa is one of the best things that can happen to you.”

Salvatore Puccio pulls on the maglia rosa

The team time trial provided the first significant test of the race and Blanco Pro Cycling set the pace from the early starters with a time of 22:33 minutes.

But Team Sky, who were the eighth team to start from 23, then went nearly half-a-minute quicker to move into the lead. Katusha and Movistar both subsequently clocked faster times at the intermediate checkpoint but fell away over the second half of the course to hand Team Sky victory.

Second place for Movistar sees Alex Dowsett, who left Team Sky for the Spanish squad at the start of the season, move up to ninth overall.

The Giro d’Italia continues on Monday with a 222km stage along the Amalfi coast to Marina di Ascea.

Giro d’Italia 2013: stage two – result

1) Team Sky – 22:05 minutes
2) Movistar +9 ”
3) Astana +14″
4) Katusha +19″
5) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia +22″
6) Lampre-Merida – same time
7) Garmin-Sharp +25″
8) Blanco +28″
9) Vacansoleil-DCM +34″
10) Cannondale +35″

General classification

1) Salvatore Puccio (ITA) – Team Sky – 3:20:43 hours
2) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) – Team Sky – same time
3) Sergio Henao (COL) – Team Sky
4) Dario Cataldo (ITA) – Team Sky
5) Rigoberto Uran (COL) – Team Sky
6) Benat Intxausti (SPA) – Movistar +9 ”
7) Giovanni Visconti (ITA) – Movistar – same time
8) José Herrada (SPA) – Movistar
9) Alex Dowsett (GBR) – Movistar
10) Eros Capecchi (ITA) – Movistar


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