Sir Bradley Wiggins helped Team Sky to victory in the stage 1b team time trial of the Giro del Trentino, while Josef Cerny (CCC Polsat) leads the race after forming part of the decisive break on stage 1a.
Day one of the four-day race was split into two half stages in Lienz, Austria; the first a short 128.5km road stage, followed by a 14.1km team time trial.
Maxime Bouet (Ag2r La Mondiale) won the opening stage from a three-way sprint, ahead of Cerny (CCC Polsat) and Michael Rodriguez (Colombia), with the trio crossing the line nearly seven minutes ahead of a peloton that was seemingly unwilling to chase what started as an eight-rider breakaway.
Wiggins finished safely in the peloton and then combined with Dario Cataldo, Joe Dombrowski, Peter Kennaugh, Christian Knees, Danny Pate, Kanstantsin Siutsou and Xabier Zandio to clock 15 minutes and 20 seconds to give Team Sky their first team time trial victory since the Tour of Qatar in 2010.
Victory for Wiggins sees the Tour de France champion, who is using the race as preparation for the Giro d’Italia, gain time over all of his main rivals for overall victory, with Vincenzo Nibali’s Astana squad the nearest challengers, 13 seconds adrift.
Bouet had held a two-second advantage over Cerny going into the team time trial, courtesy of a time bonus for winning stage 1a, but the Frenchman’s time in the race leader’s jersey was shortlived after 19-year-old Cerny’s CCC Polsat squad posted a time of 16 minutes and 12 seconds, 13 seconds quicker than Ag2r La Mondiale.
Wiggins sits six minutes and five seconds off the lead after day one, owing to the winning margin of the break on stage 1a, but the race steps up a gear on Wednesday with the first of three mountain stages, two of which end with steep summit finishes, promising to shed a new light on the general classification.
“The most important thing is that I had good feelings,” said Wiggins. “I feel ok and confident. Tomorrow’s test to Vetriolo will be really tough, but we are here to see where we can get, hopefully as high as possible.”
Stage two follows a 225km route, starting in Sillian and finishing with the 13.5km climb of Vetriolo Terme.
Giro del Trentino 2013 – stage 1a – result
1) Maxime Bouet (FRA) – Ag2r La Mondiale – 2:48.59 hours
2) Josef Cerny (CZE) – CCC Polsat Polkowice – same time
3) Michael Rodriguez (COL) – Colombia
4) Nicola Dal Santo (ITA) – Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest +39″
5) Enzo Moyano (ARG) – Caja Rural-Seguros RGA – same time
6) Pavel Kochetkov (RUS) – Rusvelo
7) Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) – MTN-Qhubeka +41″
8) Gang Xu (CHN) Champion System +1’11”
9) Enrico Battaglin (ITA) – Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox +6’51”
10) Leonardo Fabio Duque (COL) – Colombia
Giro del Trentino 2013 – stage 1b – result
1) Team Sky – 15:20 minutes
2) Astana +13″
3) Lampre-Merida +16″
4) NetApp-Endura +24″
5) Bardiani-CSF Inox +35″
1) Josef Cerny (CZE) – CCC Polsat-Polkowice
2) Maxime Bouet (FRA) – Ag2r La Mondiale +11″
3) Michael Rodriguez (COL) – Colombia +16″
4) Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) – MTN-Qhubeka +44″
5) Pavel Kochetkov (RUS) – Rusvelo +49″