Omega Pharma-Quick Step last off in Giro d'Italia team time trial

The Giro d'Italia has transferred to the tiny island of Ischia by ferry for the stage two team time trial, with team training on the 17.4km course in the morning before the racing begins in the afternoon.

It will mean a long day for a short, intense, nervous effort but team time trials are spectacular to watch and teams love to win them.

Team Sky is the favourite to win but the twisting, up and down course on the narrow roads of Ischia will make bike handling skills and team unity more important than raw power.

Radioshack-Leopard, Garmin-Sharp, Orica-GreenEdge and even Astana could challenge Team Sky for victory. The time gaps between the overall contenders will also be important. Nibali and Astana might lose just a handful of seconds but Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida), Robert Gesink (Blanco) and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) could start the rest of the Giro with a 30-second handicap.

Colombia first off

The Colombia team is first off from the port of Ischia at 15:40 local time, with the remaining 22 teams leaving at three-minute intervals. The 17.4km course heads inland briefly and then follows the coast to Forio before a final loop and climb.

Team Sky starts at 16:01, Vincenzo Nibali's Astana squad start at 16:28, with Radioshack-Leopard at 16:34. Team Sky includes Wiggins, Italian national time trial champion Dario Cataldo, Kanstantsin Siutsou and the USA's Danny Pate –who was Under 23 world time trial champion in 2001.

According to Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport, Cataldo could lead home Team Sky and so pull on the pink jersey if the British teams manages to gain enough time on Mark Cavendish's Omega Pharma-Quick Step squad and their other rivals.

Garmin-Sharp won the fast and flat team time trial last year in Verona and will be hoping for a similar result this year with the likes of David Millar, Ramunas Navardauskas, Robert Hunter, Thomas Dekker and Christian Vande Velde in their team backing Ryder Hesjedal.

Garmin-Sharp start the team time trial at 16:37, followed by BMC at 16:40 and then Orica-GreenEdge at 16:43.

The Australian team is also packed with expert time trialist such as Svein Tuft, Brett Lancaster, Luke Durbridge and Leigh Howard.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step team is last off, at 16:46, with Cavendish wearing the pink race leader's jersey. In theory a strong leadout team is also good against the clock. The Belgian squad won the team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico in March but as Cavendish admitted, world time trial champion Tony Martin was the driving force that day.


Team time trial start times: 

1. Colombia 15.40
2. Ag2r-La Mondiale 15.43
3. Blanco Pro Cycling Team 15.46
4. Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 15.49
5. Team Argos-Shimano 15.52
6. Team Saxo-Tinkoff 15.55
7. Lotto Belisol 15.58
8. Team Sky 16.01
9. Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 16.04
10. Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 16.07
11. Cannondale Pro Cycling 16.10
12. Katusha Team 16.13
13. Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela 16.16
14. Euskaltel-Euskadi 16:19
15. Lampre-Merida 16:22
16. Movistar Team 16:25
17. Astana Pro Team 16:28
18. FDJ 16:31
19. RadioShack Leopard 16:34
20. Garmin-Sharp 16:37
21. BMC Racing Team 16:40
22. Orica-GreenEDGE 16:43
23.Omega Pharma-Quick Step 16:46

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