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Team Sunweb had a plan to win the Giro Rosa TTT

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Team Sunweb riders celebrate on the podium after stage 1 at Giro Rosa

Team Sunweb riders celebrate on the podium after stage 1 at Giro Rosa (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Sunweb ride to victory in the opening Giro Rosa time trial

Team Sunweb ride to victory in the opening Giro Rosa time trial (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Sunweb ride to victory in the opening Giro Rosa time trial

Team Sunweb ride to victory in the opening Giro Rosa time trial (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Micthelton-Scott, Team Sunweb and Boels Dolmans on the Giro Rosa podium after the opening team time trial

Micthelton-Scott, Team Sunweb and Boels Dolmans on the Giro Rosa podium after the opening team time trial (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ellen van Dijk celebrates on the podium after the opening team time trial at the Giro Rosa

Ellen van Dijk celebrates on the podium after the opening team time trial at the Giro Rosa (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

The opening team time trial in the Giro Rosa came down to the wire as the two top teams, Team Sunweb and Mitchelton-Scott, were separated by only one second. While Mitchelton-Scott and third-placed Boels Dolmans were quickly down to their four strongest time triallists, Sunweb chose to keep all seven starters together for as long as possible - a strategy that paid off.

The team time trial was run in the afternoon heat. After winning the stage with her Sunweb teammates, van Dijk commented on this with a smile. "It was really hot! Before the stage we joked that we would jump straight into the lake, but now we have to do the podium ceremony first. I am super happy to have won, but it feels a little weird to get the jersey alone when it is a team effort."

Team Sunweb had done their homework, checking out the race course more than once and planning the race in detail, van Dijk explained. "It was a very fast course, but we were well-prepared and knew we had to go very fast from the start. We reconnoitred the course several times, and had a good meeting before the race. We laid out a good plan and executed it almost to perfection. That is what was needed to win this race. You could not make any mistakes on this fast, demanding course. It is a great feeling to have won this with the team. We are in high spirits and could not have started this Giro in a better way."

In addition to the pink jersey for van Dijk, Team Sunweb also scored the white jersey as 20-year-old Liane Lippert leads the U23 classification.

After losing out to Team Sunweb by one second, there was brief disappointment in the Mitchelton-Scott camp over getting beaten by so little. But Amanda Spratt soon chose to see the positives. "We are a bit surprised that we were only one second from the win. Team Sunweb are the world champions and I think this is by far the best team time trial we have ever done. We have never been this close to the win in a TTT. Everybody gave it all they could today."

Time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten added that training specifically for the TTT played a part in the good result. "We have trained a lot in the team time trial discipline and it is really nice for the girls to see the hard work pay off already. It was a really good team time trial for us so we are all happy."

The Giro Rosa continues on Saturday with a stage of 120.39km around Ovada.