The 49th edition of Tirreno-Adriatico was launched with some serious time trial ability on display, including the top three riders at last year’s world championships.
Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) were all in action for their teams in the season’s first team time trial.
And, as with many occasions in the past two years, it was the Belgian super team who prevailed after Martin put in a huge shift on the front for them.
Their reward was to see Mark Cavendish pull on the race leader’s blue jersey, and Michal Kwiatkowski don the white tunic of best young rider as they kicked off a race they are hoping to dominate in, well, dominating style.
Are Omega Pharma-Quickstep simply unstoppable on top form? Read on for our five observations from stage one.