Team CSC has spectacularly won today's team time trial from Piacenza to Cremona, held over 35 kilometres. In a concerted team effort, the Danish squad proved that it was this time superior to Discovery Channel, the other pre-race favourite. Discovery finished third behind a solid Team T-Mobile, who took the leader's jersey off Gerolsteiner's shoulders.
T-Mobile's Serguei Gonchar was the best-placed T-Mobile rider to take the maglia rosa - the German squad powered by time trial specialists such as Michael Rogers and Jan Ullrich - although not in the best of his form yet - as well as the Ukrainian himself would have also shared in the stage victory today, hadn't it been for an unfortunate Matthias Kessler: the fifth man in line had to let go of his teammates with just 300 metres to go and crossed the finish line two seconds behind. But it was his time that counted, so Team CSC snatched the day's victory by just one tiny second.
Looking at the GC now, Ivan Basso gained 39 seconds on Paolo Savoldelli as the two are now only 9 seconds apart. Liquigas, with a very good fourth placing, secured the spot of their leader Danilo Di Luca, who didn't lose much time today - unlike Damiano Cunego (Lampre) and Gilberto Simoni (Saunier Duval), who both had to give in to the leading team's great performances.
"It was a victory we have been aiming at for a long time," commented CSC manager Bjarne Riis on team-csc.com. "It's the essence of team work, so of course it's a huge win for us. To ride a great team time trial requires discipline and the ability to communicate, and the riders showed just that today, so I'm obviously very proud. After a less than satisfying prologue, we have now confirmed we have a great team, which will be able to help Ivan all the way to Milan in this Giro."
"It was an important victory for us and it was an awesome feeling standing on the podium as a team," said Ivan Basso. "Everyone contributed with all they had, and it means a lot to me to have such a strong team behind me here in the Giro. Today it was all about taking the victory as a team and show people how we are able to work together and accomplish something big. Just as expected it was a close race, so in the overall standings maybe the results won't mean a lot, but I can assure you it means a lot for us as a team and the assignment we are on as team mates."