Slippery conditions for the Amsterdam time trial
The opening time trial stage of the Giro d'Italia began under grey skies and light rain on Saturday, making the technical 8.4 kilometre city centre course in Amsterdam a test of bike handling ability and nerve.
The riders best at getting up to speed after the many corners will gain seconds each time, while those with the nerve to dive into the wet and off-camber corners are also set to reap important chunks of time.
Andriy Grivko (Astana) was the earlier leader with a time of 10:31, while Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) was the first rider to crash on the slick roads.
Before the start the team mechanics worked furiously on the rider's time trial bikes as they changed tyre pressure, changed wheel and finalized positions for the wet conditions and testing roads. The riders studied the course, wrapped in tights and warm jackets.
Most people at the start area believed the wet roads and testing circuit now makes David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) the favourite to win the time trial. He confirmed to Cyclingnews that he gunning for victory whatever the conditions. He is convinced he now has an edge over the likes of Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), who may back off a little in the time trial to avoid putting their overall chances in the Giro at risk.
We will find out later this afternoon. All the leading favourites start in the final hour of the time trial. Millar is off at 17:08 CET, Wiggins two minutes after at 17:10 and Vinokourov is off at 17:18. Andrei Greipel (HTC-Columbia) is last man to start at 17:34 CET.
The fastest man will pull on the first maglia rosa of the 2010 Giro d'Italia.
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