Team Sky and Riche Porte had been hoping to gain a few seconds on their overall rivals in the Giro d’Italia team time trial to San Remo but as Orica-GreenEdge celebrated their success the British squad could only count their losses and quietly ride back to their hotel.
Team Sky finished ninth of the 22 teams on the stage, 27 seconds slower than Orica-GreenEdge. They crossed the line with eight riders but lost 20 seconds to Alberto Contador and Tinkoff-Saxo, 14 seconds to Fabio Aru and Astana, and eight seconds to Rigoberto Uran and Etixx-QuickStep. They were also beaten by FDJ, IAM Cycling and BMC.
Team Sky had selected a strong team for the Giro d’Italia with the likes of Vasil Kiryienka, Elia Viviani and Kanstantsin Siutsou expected to make a difference in the team time trial. However it was one of their worst performances in the discipline.
Richie Porte tried hard to hide his disappointed as he warmed down not far from the finish area but the team was clearly not happy with their result.
“I think we were good today, everyone was pretty smooth and solid. It was a really fast course. I think with what we had, we did a good time trial,” he said.
“It wasn’t great to lose so much time but it’s only seconds. At the end of the day, its seconds now but at the end of the Giro it’s going to be minutes. You can’t get carried away with losing a few seconds in the first week. It’s not ideal to lose time but it’s not the end of the world. I still think it’s quite a good start to the race and it feels good to get started.”
Porte did not reveal any specific reason for the time loss and refused to blame racing on the narrow bike path.
“It was not that bad, you just get on with it. It’s the same for everybody,” he said sportingly. “The tunnel was quite fun. But it was safe. I think the roads were absolutely fine. Obviously Orica have got the best team for this sort of thing.”