By Shane Stokes in La Maddalena
Discovery Channel's Giro leader Yaroslav Popovych finds himself 49 seconds off the lead at the end of the first day, losing time as a result of a crash inside the final kilometre.
"After the corner I went to pedal but it was a bit too soon and I crashed," he told Cyclingnews at the finish. "I am okay, though, not badly hurt. But I lost a bit of time because of that."
Team-mates Steve Cummings and Matthew White were, like many riders, critical of the parcours for the team time trial. "It was pretty dangerous," said British rider Cummings, who said his goal in the race is to work well for the team and to get to Milan. "It was too twisty to go fast. We were trying not to take risks but that last descent was crazy. Popo fell off. It felt like we blew up a bit, too, I don't know."
White was definitely not impressed. "Things were working out alright [up to Popovych's crash] but that was a ridiculous f***ing team time trial, that's what it was. Have you seen the course? There is no f***ing need to have a course like that," he blasted.
The team finished 5th out of 22 squads, but would have taken fourth from Lampre-Fondital without the mishap. They had to wait for Popovych as he was the fifth rider.