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Giro d'Italia 2010: Stage 4


Welcome to stage four of this year's Giro d'Italia, a crucial 33 kilometre team time trial from Savigliano to Cuneo. Not only will it determine the next wearer of the maglia rosa, it will also provide the chance for the general classification contenders to try to open up more time over their rivals or, in the case of those who have already slipped back, to try to fight back into contention. This is the first stage of this year's race to take place on Italian soil, and we expect plenty of fireworks over the next few hours.

Here are the start times for today's race. The first team off, Cofidis, cranks it out in just over five minute's time. They will be followed at five minute intervals by the other teams, with race leader Alexandre Vinokourov's Astana boys the last to hurtle down the start ramp.

Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne 14:50 CET/13:50 GMT/08:50 EDT
Colnago-CSF Inox 14:55 CET/13:55 GMT/08:55 EDT
Footon-Servetto 15:00 CET/14:00 GMT/09:00 EDT
BMC Racing Team 15:05 CET/14:05 GMT/09:05 EDT
Quick Step 15:10 CET/14:10 GMT/09:10 EDT
Caisse d'Epargne 15:15 CET/14:15 GMT/09:15 EDT
Acqua & Sapone 15:20 CET/14:20 GMT/09:20 EDT
Bbox Bouygues Telecom 15:25 CET/14:25 GMT/09:25 EDT
Ag2R-La Mondiale 15:30 CET/14:30 GMT/09:30 EDT
Androni Giocattoli 15:35 CET/14:35 GMT/09:35 EDT
Lampre-Farnese Vini 15:40 CET/14:40 GMT/09:40 EDT
Team Katusha 15:45 CET/14:45 GMT/09:45 EDT
Sky Professional Cycling Team 15:50 CET/14:50 GMT/09:50 EDT
Omega Pharma-Lotto 15:55 CET/14:55 GMT/09:55 EDT
Cervélo TestTeam 16:00 CET/15:00 GMT/10:00 EDT
Garmin-Transitions 16:05 CET/15:05 GMT/10:05 EDT
Rabobank 16:10 CET/15:10 GMT/10:10 EDT
Team Milram 16:15 CET/15:15 GMT/10:15 EDT
Liquigas-Doimo 16:20 CET/15:20 GMT/10:20 EDT
Team HTC-Columbia 16:25 CET/15:25 GMT/10:25 EDT
Team Saxo Bank 16:30 CET/15:30 GMT/10:30 EDT
Astana 16:35 CET/15:35 GMT/10:35 EDT

Of those teams, a few stand out as ones to watch. Bradley Wiggin's Team Sky have shown that they can work strongly in such efforts, winning the TTT in the Tour of Qatar. They will be keen to try to help him back into the frame, although he has lost considerable time due to the crash-fest in the Netherlands. David Millar's Garmin Slipstream team are hugely motivated to put the Scot into the Maglia Rosa (and to dedicate it to Christian Vande Velde, who crashed out on stage three), while the HTC Columbia team won this test last year and will aim to do so again. Saxo Bank is fueled by the chance to help Richie Porte take the pink jersey; he's milliseconds off the race lead of Vinokourov, while Cadel Evans' BMC Racing Team wants to prove that it has the firepower to back the Australian. Liquigas is all about helping the chances of Basso and Nibali.

Here's an idea of the top ten, as well as selected other riders who are worth watching out for:

1 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 10:07:18
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
3 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Transitions 0:00:01
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:05
5 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:07
6 Matthew Goss (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:10
7 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia
8 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram 0:00:12
9 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:00:15
10 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:16


11 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
14 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:18
24 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:43
43 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Cervelo Test Team 0:01:40
50 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 0:02:07
55 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:04:28
135 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 0:09:24

As you can see, there's nothing at all in it between Vino, Porte and Millar, while Nibali, Greipel, Gerdemann and Garzelli are perfectly poised too. Even if HTC Columbia doesn't put him Greipel in pink today, keeping him close means that he can use his sprint to nab bonuses on Thursday.

Speaking of Greipel, his team-mate Adam Hansen talked about the German to Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer yesterday. "So far, the Giro is pretty good. Our team is riding really well, Andre has a stomach problem and have not been able to eat so much as it upsets him, so he is losing power in the final. We still try and he is very fast, that has not changed. Even with his stomach problems he is always in the first group, holding great position and always there. It’s just the power that is missing.

"Having this rest day and the team time trial tomorrow will, for sure, help him to recover. It’s a advantage for us having the rest day, for Andre’s sake We all still believe in him and all will still support him in the following days ahead. Once he gets over this little hurdle things will come good, he has provided amazing results in the past and the only different thing from back then till now is this little hiccup with his stomach. We almost have our full Vuelta team here from last year and Andre proved very good there. So we support him."

He underlined that the mood was good. "The team atmosphere is still great as a whole we are always there in the final and riding well. We still have many chances to come, we stay calm and continue and hope to put a nice show on soon. There is a very long way to go."

Adam had his 28th birthday yesterday - we hope he enjoyed his rest day, and had time for some cake last night.

The big news right now is that the weather is very nasty indeed...plenty of rain, so that will complicate things for the riders.

Correction - it was bucketing down at the start, but is now clearing. That's good news. The BMC Racing Team of Cadel Evans is on the course, and being led by the world champion. He's back to wearing the regular team strip as his world title is for road race, not time trial. He's driving the riders along now. There's only six of them left at this point, so they have to be careful not to drop any more.

The Cofidis team has set a time of 21 minutes 24 seconds at the 17.9 kilometre checkpoint. The riders are now heading towards the finish...let's see what they do.

Eight of them come home in a compact group, setting a time of 39.05.

Next up, Colnago CSF Inox. It was 26 seconds quicker at the intermediate time check, but BMC was fastest of the three at that point. Here's the splits: Cofidis 21:24, Colnago-CSF Inox 20:58, BMC 20:31

And Colnago goes quicker, setting a time of 38:45. Let's see what Footon Servetto and BMC Racing can do.

The Androni Giocattoli team is now on the course, the tenth to start. Michele Scarponi is their rider for the GC, and wants a good time. Meanwhile the Footon riders are nearing the finish..

Mathias Brandle does an absolute monster turn at the front to push Footon onwards.

The team's time is a good one:

1 Footon-Servetto 00:38:40
2 Colnago-CSF Inox 00:38:45
3 Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne 00:39:05

Here comes BMC....Evans leads them into the final metres, searching for seconds.

New best time! The BMC riders go 52 seconds quicker than the previous fast mark. That gives them a time of 37.58 - how will it compare?

Here's the top four thus far:

1 BMC Racing Team 00:37:58
2 Footon-Servetto 00:38:40
3 Colnago-CSF Inox 00:38:45
4 Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne 00:39:05

The Italian podium gals get ready to send another team out, holding up the Katusha riders who then tear down the start ramp.

The Androni Giocattoli is working well together, and has all nine riders present. The Lampre Farnese-Vini team is also digging in, spurred on by former Giro champions Damiano Cunego and Gilberto Simoni.

Now QuickStep comes in towards the line...

The team nets fourth place, 53 seconds off the time of Evans' BMC squad.

Now in da (start) house - Team Sky. Wiggins doesn't like the camera attention and waves away the TV crew which, presumably, was quite far away anyway.

The team will want to make a statement today, methinks - the TTT is important for it as a discipline, due partly to British Cycling's track background.

Ouch...Chris Sutton has had a mechanical and had to stop. So Team Sky is immediately down a man...that will cost them time, whether they wait or not.

Sutton is back up and chasing, but most likely has a lonely time ahead...

Here's the standings thus far: 1 BMC Racing Team 00:37:58
2 Footon-Servetto 00:00:42
3 Colnago-CSF Inox 00:00:47
4 Quick Step 00:00:53
5 Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne 00:01:07

Caisse d'Epargne now finishes; the time is not a great one for them, conceding a full minute to BMC Racing.

A new intermediate time: 20:28 for Androni-Giocattoli.

Meanwhile, Wiggo is leading the TeamSky train, standing out from the pack in his white GB champion's skinsuit. He pulls wide to the left, letting the next riderse through. That was a very long turn.

Acqua & Sapone now comes in towards the finish, five riders ahead of two dropped ones.

The time is only good enough for seventh, putting them 1:18 behind the quickest team. Garzelli won't be too happy with that.

Now racing: the Cervelo Test Team of Carlos Sastre, who really wants to do a good Giro. He's been tipped as a possible winner of the race and while he should hold his own in the mountains, it's on stages like today's where he has to be careful.

Here's an updated leaderboard: 

1 BMC Racing Team 00:37:58
2 Footon-Servetto 00:00:42
3 Colnago-CSF Inox 00:00:47
4 Quick Step 00:00:53
5 Caisse d'Epargne 00:01:00
6 Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne 00:01:07
7 Acqua & Sapone 00:01:11

Will be interesting to see what Team Sky does to the intermediate time, needless to say...stay tuned, we'll get you that information as soon as it's available.

Bbox Bouygues Telecom has finished, slotting into fifth place at this early point.

1 BMC Racing Team 00:37:58
2 Footon-Servetto 00:00:42
3 Colnago-CSF Inox 00:00:47
4 Quick Step 00:00:53
5 Bbox Bouygues Telecom 00:00:58
6 Caisse d'Epargne 00:01:00
7 Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne 00:01:07
8 Acqua & Sapone 00:01:11

And now the rain comes down...that could complicate things somewhat. Ag2r La Mondiale is finishing in dry conditions but, out on the course, Team Sky is gettting an early shower.

Ag2r La Mondiale pushes on but it's not a good time; the team does 39:27. That puts them last at this point.

1 BMC Racing Team 00:37:58
2 Footon-Servetto 00:00:42
3 Colnago-CSF Inox 00:00:47
4 Quick Step 00:00:53
5 Bbox Bouygues Telecome 00:00:58
6 Caisse d'Epargne 00:01:00
7 Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne 00:01:07
8 Acqua & Sapone 00:01:11
9 Ag2R-La Mondiale 00:01:29

Meanwhile, a wet-but-quick Team Sky goes four seconds faster than Katusha at the intermediate checkpoint, setting a time of 19:31.

Here comes the Androni Giocattoli team, wtih quite a slow time. Seventh place..

Omega Pharma Lotto is coming up to the intermediate point while, back at the start, Milram is about to get underway. Linus Gerdemann is well placed and will hope for a strong showing.

He's come up with an interesting proposal to prove it's possible to ride well, and clean, in the Tour de France. Full details here.

1 BMC Racing Team 00:37:58
2 Footon-Servetto 00:00:42
3 Colnago-CSF Inox 00:00:47
4 Quick Step 00:00:53
5 Bbox Bouygues Telecom 00:00:58
6 Caisse d'Epargne 00:01:00
7 Androni Giocattoli 00:01:03
8 Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne 00:01:07
9 Acqua & Sapone 00:01:11
10 Ag2R-La Mondiale 00:01:29

That's the latest from the the BMC Racing Team has done very well. Some questioned how the team would get on, but it's all good for now...

Team Sky is down to six riders, while Maurilo Fischer (Brazil) has had to bid a temporary goodbye to the Garmin Transitions team.

Now Lampre goes second quickest, setting a fine time of 38:20... Cunego will be happy with that.

Now Liquigas starts, leaving just three teams after that: HTC Columbia, Saxo Bank and Astana.

Katusha comes in towards the finish, with what looks like being a superb time...

The team is down to five riders at this point, so they've gotta stick together inside this final kilometre.

New best time! They were a full 54 seconds faster than BMC Racing.

The Garmin riders are nearing the intermediate time check, so let's see what they can do there...

Hmm...losing time to the fastest team, it seems. Only fifth there, 43 seconds back. The loss of Vande Velde may have hit them harder than expected, in terms of horsepower.

Here comes Sky, with what is surely a new best time...

Sky pushes for the line....

New best! The team is 14 seconds quicker than Katusha...

The time was 36:50; will it be good enough for the win?

Here's some information on the machine Dave Millar is piloting today as he tries to take the Maglia Rosa.

Now Omega Pharma Lotto heads towards the line - it's a good 'un...

The team won't beat Sky, but it'll be right up there with the best of them thus far...

Cyclingnews' Stephen Farrand got some nice photos from the start today. You can see them here.

Third-fastest time for Omega Pharma-Lotto. Here are the standings: 

1 Sky Professional Cycling Team 00:36:50
2 Team Katusha 00:00:14
3 Omega Pharma-Lotto 00:00:33
4 BMC Racing Team 00:01:08
5 Lampre-Farnese Vini 00:01:30
6 Footon-Servetto 00:01:50
7 Colnago-CSF Inox 00:01:55
8 Quick Step 00:02:01
9 Bbox Bouygues Telecom 00:02:06
10 Caisse d'Epargne 00:02:08
11 Androni Giocattoli 00:02:11
12 Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne 00:02:15
13 Acqua & Sapone 00:02:19
14 Ag2R-La Mondiale 00:02:37

The Astana team of Alexandre Vinokourov has now started, so all the teams are either out on the course or have already finished.. Meanwhile, Milram is only 12th quickest at the time check, so no pink jersey for Gerdemann today.

Here comes Cervelo...Also a good time...

The riders clock up a time of 37:15, third best - not bad at all! Sastre will be happy with that...

His aim today was to limit his losses and he's certainly done that.

Liquigas is now at the intermediate point; the time is thirty second behind the fastest, netting the team fifth. The time there was 20:01.

Garmin-Transitions comes in towards the finish now...Millar is on the front, giving it loads.

The team is fifth, 36" behind Team Sky. So no pink jersey today for Millar. He did a huge turn at the finish but the fourth and fifth riders couldn't hold the pace, crossing the line perhaps a second back.

Liquigas looks good out on the course, in terms of technique. Basso and Nibali are the GC riders and want to stay in touch on stages like these, then make their move in the mountains.

HTC-Columbia comes towards the intermediate check now, and it has lost time. Only sixth quickest there..

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Rabobank now enters the final few hundred metres of its TTT. There's a lot of anguished faces but the speed is pretty good: 37:41, for sixth place.

Saxo Bank sets a time of 20:18 at the intermediate checkpoint.

Milram finishes in a time 44 seconds off that of Team Sky: sixth place. That's not bad...

Astana, the last team on the road, is about to reach the intermediate point. Will it be a good time?

It's fairly good - Vinokourov leads them through in the seventh-best time. So who will be in pink? 

Liquigas now comes in towards the finish, riding very strongly and looking to put Nibali into the Maglia Rosa...

This time is going to be best mark coming up!

The riders go 13 seconds faster than Team Sky, and could well end up with today's best mark. Nibali started the day fourth overall, five seconds back and, we suggest, could find himself the toast of Italy this evening.

HTC-Columbia will be next to finish, and will hope to keep Greipel within sprinting distance of the race lead.

This time is also fast, but will it be good enough?

Italian champion Marco Pinotti pushes the pace, looking for every last second. Third place, 21 seconds back...

Nibali was a late call-up to the squad after Pellizotti was withdrawn, but appears to be riding very well regardless. Whether or not he's got climbing legs remains to be seen, but if he does get the pink jersey that will be a very sweet moment for him.

Just two teams left to finish now - Saxo Bank and then Astana.

Here comes Saxo Bank, with white jersey Richie Porte halfway back in the push for the line. He comes up the inside, leaading them across with a very strong finish...too strong, in fact, dropping the others.

The time was 37:27, putting them eighth. So no Maglia Rosa for Porte today.

This was the standings for the white jersey this morning: 

1 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 10:07:18
2 Matthew Goss (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:10
3 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:25
4 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:46
5 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:50
6 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:56
7 Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:01:03
8 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Liquigas-Doimo 0:01:29
9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank 0:01:41
10 Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni Giocattoli 0:05:00


Astana has dropped a rider...Vinokourov looks back, waving his hand in frustration. It's the fifth rider, so they must wait....

Someone is in trouble tonight...

The team doesn't wait - that's a mistake. The first two riders cross the line, then Vino and one more about two seconds back, then the fifth...messy.

The team is sixth, posting a mark of 37:15. That was 38 seconds slower than the winners Liquigas and while Vino will regret what happened in the final kilometre, the jersey was lost before that point.

Nibali now takes over the Maglia Rosa, with Basso in second place...

In fact, it's the top three places for Liquigas, with Greipel in fourth place:

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:13
3 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:20
4 André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:26
5 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:26
6 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 0:00:33
7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:35

Matt Goss should take over the white jersey as best young rider, so an Australian still leads that.

Here are the final placings for the team time trial:

1 Liquigas-Doimo 00:36:37
2 Sky Professional Cycling Team 00:00:13
3 Team HTC-Columbia 00:00:21
4 Team Katusha 00:00:27
5 Cervélo TestTeam 00:00:36
6 Astana 00:00:38
7 Omega Pharma-Lotto 00:00:44
8 Garmin-Transitions 00:00:47
9 Team Saxo Bank 00:00:50
10 Team Milram 00:00:55
11 Rabobank 00:01:02
12 BMC Racing Team 00:01:19
13 Lampre-Farnese Vini 00:01:41
14 Footon-Servetto 00:02:01
15 Colnago-CSF Inox 00:02:06
16 Quick Step 00:02:12
17 Bbox Bouygues Telecom 00:02:17
18 Caisse d'Epargne 00:02:19
19 Androni Giocattoli 00:02:22
20 Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne 00:02:26
21 Acqua & Sapone 00:02:30
22 Ag2R-La Mondiale 00:02:48

Vinokourov really won't be happy. He looked shellshocked after the finish, but is still in the hunt for the general classification.

The biggest losses today were incurred by Scarponi and Garzelli, who conceded 2:22 and 2:30 to the Liquigas riders.

Hard luck to Team Sky, which really must have thought the win was in the bag. Liquigas finished very rapidly, though, so the British squad just missed out.

So that brings today's fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia to a close. Fortunately we'd no crashes, so the riders will welcome that change from the past few days. The GC has had another reshuffling and now has its fourth leader in as many stages. What will tomorrow bring?

1 Liquigas-Doimo 00:36:37
2 Sky Professional Cycling Team 00:00:13
3 Team HTC-Columbia 00:00:21
4 Team Katusha 00:00:27
5 Cervélo TestTeam 00:00:36
6 Astana 00:00:38
7 Omega Pharma-Lotto 00:00:44
8 Garmin-Transitions 00:00:47
9 Team Saxo Bank 00:00:50
10 Team Milram 00:00:55

Brief General Classification after stage 4:

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 10:44:00
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:13
3 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:20
4 André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:26
5 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia
6 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 0:00:33
7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:39

That completes the live coverage for today, but you can find a full report and results shortly on this site. Thanks for reading, and come back tomorrow for more live coverage from this Giro d'Italia!




Stage complete.

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