Viviani takes first leader's jersey at Adriatica Ionica Race

Three weeks after capping off a successful Giro d'Italia, Elia Viviani is back on the top step of the podium as the first leader of the inaugural Adriatica Ionica Race. The Italian was first across the line ahead of his Quick-Step Floors teammates as they won the opening team time trial in Lido di Jesolo on Wednesday.

"It's a beautiful way to open Adriatica Ionica, one which gives us confidence for what's to come this week," Viviani said in a team press release.

The Quick-Step Floors team of Viviani, Kasper Asgreen, Alvaro Hodeg, James Knox, Davide Martinelli, Jhonatan Narvaez and Niki Terpstra covered the 23.3km course from Piave to Lido di Jesolo in a winning time of 25:28, averaging 54.895kph. They beat UAE Team Emirates by 14 seconds and Trek-Segafredo by 16 seconds.

"We came here with a strong team, blending youth and experience, all riders in good shape who put in a big and impressive effort. The TTT was superfast, so we saved ourselves for the second part, where we went full gas, and were also helped by a tailwind," Viviani said.

The win put Viviani in the overall leader's jersey with the same time as teammates Knox, Martinelli, Narvaez and Terpstra, while Knox also leads the best young rider classification.

The race heads into stage 2 on Thursday with a 152.5km race from Lido di Jesolo to Maser, where Viviani admitted that he doesn't expect to keep the overall lead.

"Tomorrow's stage to Maser isn't exactly one for the sprinters, so it remains to be seen what we can get out of it. But we're here to enjoy this beautiful race and get some more solid results. As always, we're motivated, and we'll try to be in the mix and do something good whenever we can," Viviani said.

The team time trial win marked the 39th UCI victory for Quick-Step Floors this season, and Viviani has brought the team 10 of those wins. He most recently capped off a successful Giro d'Italia where he won four stages and the points classification.

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