Giro d’Italia 2014: Grande Partenza – five observations

Michael Matthews marches on but Marcel Kittel plays down red jersey chances

Orica-GreenEDGE came to Ireland with a plan and implemented it to perfection. Packing their squad with time trial specialists earned them the pink jersey on stage one – with Svein Tuft rewarded for his tireless work as a domestique by being allowed to cross first and wear the maglia rosa on his birthday. Their comprehensive win meant Michael Matthews, realistically, only had to contest the stage two sprint to move into the overall lead himself and the Aussie sprinter believes the team can now keep the jersey for at least a week.

Orica-GreenEDGE demonstrate the perfect line-up as they storm to team time trial victory (pic: Sirotti)

With no real GC ambitions – though Ivan Santaromita’s bid for a top ten place has been boosted by the team time trial result – Orica-GreenEDGE spotted an opportunity and seized it in style. Now Matthews has big ambitions to win stages five and six while wearing the maglia rosa and the form the team is in you would not bet against it. Adam Yates in Turkey, Simon Gerrans at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Michael Albasini in Switzerland and now the combined efforts in Italy… these are heady times indeed for the team.

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