Australian and Briton slip to eighth and ninth
Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) and David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) started the team time trial just a second away from the pink jersey but ended the day down in eighth and ninth place, both 45 seconds behind new race leader Vincenzo Nibali.
Both their teams rode well in the 33km team time trial, with Garmin-Transitions finishing eighth at 49 seconds and Saxo Bank ninth at 50 seconds. But their dreams of pulling on the pink jersey are now over. Millar will now target a stage victory, while Porte will focus on the best young rider's white jersey.
"We were hopeful we could win but it wasn't perhaps realistic," Millar admitted to Cyclingnews.
"I think we were a little bit unlucky with the weather. We had a bad spell for five minutes because we got caught in the rain. It was windy and really heavy rain and that's what slowed us down."
"We were also perhaps lacking a bit of power in the team. We were very good technically. We've got two young riders who are world track champions but a team time trial is a little different. That's cycling. Liquigas were really strong, they were the best so you can only say 'chapeau'. Now I'm going to have some fun in the next few days, I'm going to target some stage wins."
Porte also lost the best young rider's white jersey to Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Doimo), slipping to third behind Matt Goss (HTC-Columbia).
"I guess I thought I had a shot at the pink jersey. Historically Saxo Bank is a strong team in team time trials. We did out best and so we're still happy," Port told Cyclingnews.
"We were nice and smooth. We had pretty heavy rain at the start but I think it was the same for everybody so it's not an excuse. We rode really well and other than the rain it was perfect."
"It's no stress losing the white jersey. It's a long race. I hope to get it back later on. The white jersey is now my big goal."
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