Team Sky finished the stage 1 Giro del Trentino team time trial 14 second down on Astana to leave Mikel Landa on the back foot in his bid for overall victory. While the result wasn't what the team anticipated, sports director Brett Lancaster explained that with a young squad lining up in Northern Italy for the 2.HC race it was a promising performance.
"The group split up a couple of times, but they regrouped really well, and we're only 14 seconds off Astana. It would have been nice to be a little bit closer, but it was two of the guys' first ever TTTs, and they rode really well actually. We'll see what happens tomorrow," said Lancaster who was part of Orica-GreenEdge's team time trial wins at the 2013 Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia in 2014 and 2015.
Neo-pro's Alex Peters and Gianni Moscon had ridden just one TTT prior to the 12.1km stage 1 test, at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, while it was the first of the season for both Ian Boswell and Christian Knees. Lancaster added he believes there is plenty of room for improvement considering the composition of the squad.
"I don't think we should look for excuses. They rode pretty well, not optimally, but I think in the future once these guys have got a couple more TTTs under their belts we'll see improvement," he said.
While there was disappointment with the result, Moscon was invited onto the podium to collect both the young rider and Mountains classification jerseys for an early 22nd birthday. The Italian explained that while enjoying the personal plaudits, he is focused on ensuring Landa can produce his best possible result. Starting with the mountainous 220km stage 2 from Lienz to Arco-Anras.
"We did a really good job today as a team. It was our first team time trial together and I think we should be happy with the result," said Moscon. "It's a big result for me to win these jerseys, but our focus as a team is to win the GC with Mikel. I will work really hard with the team to achieve this.
"I did a recon of the route on Sunday," he added of the stage 2 finale. "It's a strange finish - it's very short and very steep. It will be very interesting to see how the race unfolds."