Giro d'Italia 2015: Simon Gerrans in pink as Orica-GreenEDGE win stage one

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Giro d’Italia 2015: Simon Gerrans in pink as Orica-GreenEDGE win stage one

Australian team repeat team time trial success to claim first maglia rosa again

Simon Gerrans pulled on the pink jersey as Orica-GreenEDGE stormed to stage one team time trial success for the second year running at the Giro d’Italia.

The Australian team gave another reminder of their time trial prowess, powering around the San Lorenzo al Mare to San Remo course in 19 minutes and 26 seconds.

Simon Gerrans pulled on the pink jersey thanks to Orica-GreenEDGE’s stage one win (pic: Sirotti)

With world team time trial champions BMC Racing and former world champions Etixx-QuickStep both off the pace, Gerrans leading the six remaining riders across the finishing line and onto the podium.

Astana had earlier set the pace, gifting Fabio Aru a great start as far as his GC ambitions go – the Kazakh team ultimately finishing 13 seconds slower than Orica-GreenEDGE.

Tinkoff-Saxo also set a fierce pace for their GC man, pre-race favourite Alberto Contador, but a blistering start – which included leading the way at the intermediate checkpoint – cost them three riders and they could not maintain their pace once down to six men, despite Michael Rogers’ best efforts.

After claiming second place on the stage, however – seven seconds in arrears – Contador got the early boost of a 20-second lead over Richie Porte (Team Sky).

The Australian was one of the biggest losers on the day, with Team Sky finishing ninth at 27”, while Cannondale-Garmin – though avoiding a repeat of last year’s disastrous Garmin-Sharp crash – also lost close to a minute.

For Gerrans, however, a day in pink is reward for his comeback from a double injury blow which had written off much of his early season.

He and sprinter Michael Matthews – who spent several days in the maglia rosa last year – will now be favourites to retain the race lead for the early part of this year’s race.

Giro d’Italia 2015: stage one – result

1) Orica-GreenEDGE (AUS) – 19.26
2) Tinkoff-Saxo (RUS) +7”
3) Astana (KAZ) +13”
4) Etixx-QuickStep (BEL) +19”
5) Movistar (ESP) +21”
6) IAM Cycling (SUI) +25”
7) BMC Racing (USA) – ST
8) FDJ (FRA) +26”
9) Team Sky (GBR) +27”
10) Katusha (RUS) – ST

General classification

1) Simon Gerrans (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE – 19.26
2) Michael Matthews (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE – ST
3) Michael Hepburn (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE
4) Pieter Weening (NED) – Orica-GreenEDGE
5) Simon Clarke (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE
6) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-GreenEDGE
7) Manuele Boaro (ITA) – Tinkoff-Saxo +7”
8) Roman Kreuziger (CZE) – Tinkoff-Saxo – ST
9) Michael Rogers (AUS) – Tinkoff-Saxo
10) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Tinkoff-Saxo

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