By John Trevorrow in Firenze
Brett Lancaster (Panaria, 26th at 3'02)
"Yeah it was alright. I knew the course well. Didn't feel too bad, just not fast enough. I knew it was going to hurt. I think it'll hurt tomorrow."
We mentioned to Lancaster that Zabriskie had ridden three minutes quicker: "Woah! Gee. I felt I could have pulled out a lot more out of mine, but I dunno about 58'30. That's seriously fast."
Bradley Wiggins (Credit Agricole, 34th at 3'17)
"It was quite hard actually. I think I did a 1:01 [1:01:48 - ed.]. I was happy with the effort, even though I was a bit off the pace. I went well up the climb which surprised me. I thought I would have stopped. I felt good, kept it steady, so I'm pleased with how I felt considering we're one week into it."
Rory Sutherland (Rabobank, 35th at 3'18)
"Ooooh. That hurt a lot. I felt good. I'm surprised actually. It suits me better, this type of time trial, up and down. The last 3 k was hell, a really strong headwind. Since the National's [where he was second - ed.], I've felt more confident in time trials. I feel better on the bike, I feel like the bike's fitted more to me. I got my three minute man right before the top of the climb. It's a grand tour and I've got no expectations. It's all about the future."
Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel, 37th at 3'19)
"I took it easy because my knee was on fire," said a pained Danielson at the finish. "It's much worse today - I couldn't pedal, my knee is in so much pain. It's starting to hurt in my back because I'm trying to compensate for my knee. I don't know what's going on with it but we'll see."
Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis, 50th at 4'06
"I got going. I thought I'd get it over with as quick as I could. It's pretty hard, like every day really. I wasn't really going to really have a go today, but I can't help myself, I'm a bike racer. It doesn't make much difference how hard you do it. People say you should do it at 80 percent, and you do it at 90. It's just as hard at 80 percent, so you may as well have a bash.
"It's a course with a bit of everything. Technical on the descent, plenty of flat sections to go fast. An all-round time trial specialist should win today. I'll bet on Gonchar."
That's what Matt White said. "Only 'cos I told him that this morning."
Michael Barry (Discovery Channel, 97th at 5'43)
"It's not bad, but it's pretty windy out there, very gusty and quite dangerous on the corners. It's a technical course with a bit of everything for us. It's a good course. Paolo [Savoldelli] was great on the downhill."
Charles Wegelius (Liquigas, 104th at 6'03)
" I went hard on the hill and took it easy on the rest of the course. It was tough out there, very windy. I think it'll make a big selection on the GC."
Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel, 113th at 6'18)
"I took it nice and easy. I nearly lost it on one corner on the descent. Zabriskie was going! He passed me and he was flying!"
Russell Van Hout (Colombia-Selle Italia, 125th at 6'44)
"My legs were blown," said a disappointed Van Hout after the stage. "I was really working on the descent. It really pissed off that I didn't go over in the car a few times. I needed some course knowledge, but that's how it goes."
Nick Gates (Davitamon-Lotto, 160th at 7'48)
"Yeah it's a tough course, harder than the time trial last year. Henk was two minutes after me. I just rode to beat Henk," joked the Australian.
Matt White (Cofidis, 161st at 7'52)
"It wasn't my job today. It was just to get in comfortably and save it for the next few days. It's a pretty hard time trial. Our guy for the general classification checked out the course this morning. It's very technical. I reckon it's a race for Gonchar or Cioni. Gonchar will get that big gear going on the downhill."
We mentioned Henk Vogels' crash, and Matt replied, "I had a front wheel slide on that corner on the descent as well."
Trent Wilson (Colombia-Selle Italia, 167th at 8'06)
How was it? "Yeah alright. The first 20 kilometres were easy. Once I got over the hill, I just stuck it in 53x11 for the rest of the way."
Henk Vogels (Davitamon-Lotto, 177th at 8'40)
Vogels actually crashed on the first part of the descent, and he was not too happy. "No not really. I'm meant to be saving my energy for Robbie for the coming days. But you know me: full gas. I'm pissed off. I didn't really want to ride around with scars."
Antonio Cruz (Discovery Channel, 182nd at 9'06)
"It was twisty and hard to find a rhythm. There was quite a bit of climbing before the main climb, a bunch of rollers one after the other. I was cruising. I made it through and I'll be good for the next few days."