Garmin-Barracuda storms to victory in Verona team time trial

Four years ago on the streets of Palermo, the Garmin team announced itself on the world stage with a defining win in the Giro d'Italia team time trial. In the intervening years, the squad has changed - riders leaving, riders joining - but on Wednesday the American team stamped its authority on the team time trial once again, storming to victory with a time of 37:04.

It was enough to put Garmin-Barracuda's Ramunas Navardauskas into pink, with previous race leader Taylor Phinney (BMC) succumbing to his injuries and losing the maglia rosa after an eventful four days of racing.

Katusha finished second, five seconds down, leaving Joaquim Rodriguez with the biggest smile among the overall contenders. The Spaniard put over 20 seconds into his main rivals and sits in the pole position as the race heads towards the first skirmishes in the mountains.

"We thought we could win today, but I wasn't sure if I could hang with these guys," Navardauskas said at the finish.

"They were really strong today. Everybody did a good job. I was so glad to stay with these guys as I tired in the last 10 kilometres. This jersey is a really big thing for me."

"I like this team. They have taken care of me last year and this year and brought me to good races. I did the Tour de France last year, I didn't expect [Jonathan] Vaughters to bring me. This year I'm at the Giro, and it's been a really good start for me up to now, although we'll see how it is tomorrow."

Although Garmin-Barracuda was the favourite heading into the event, it was widely expected that Alex Rasmussen would be the assassin to end Phinney's reign. However when the Dane was surprisingly dropped, Navardauskas quickly moved to centre stage.

Garmin-Barracuda had two aims: the stage win and propelling Ryder Hesejdal into a secure GC spot. Two aims but one method: ride fast. It meant Navardauskas had to hang on for dear life as the Garmin train neared the finished. After starting 18 seconds down in the battle for pink, finishing behind his teammates could have ended his flirtation with pink.

He briefly slipped off the back, the pink jersey momentary heading in another direction. However, the Lithuanian recovered as his teammates eased on one of the final corners, latching onto the slipstream and holding on for the line. It meant that the maglia rosa passed to another promising talent, with Phinney unable to pull of the impossible and keep the jersey for another day.

"I had a bad day personally," Phinney said.

"I don't know if it was the crash the other day or what, but I had nothing today. The team had to wait for me a couple of times, I have to thank them. Fortunately I didn't fall today as well, but from my third pull on the front, I could see that something wasn't right. I'm very disappointed, I don't have a lot to say. I didn't have a lot of power. I gave the maximum, I gave everything I have. I have to thank they team. They could have left me but instead they slowed and waited for me."

When he returns to the team hotel, Phinney can look back at what has been a whirlwind few days. In pink on stage 1, several crashes and a near abandonment, he has lit up a race desperate for international recognition. Heading into the Giro, the primary goal was the finish, and the second year pro must now muster the necessary strength for another two weeks.

His ride today summed up his four-day Giro perfectly. Starting in pink, Phinney rose to the occasion before veering off the road briefly. He finished strongly, taking turns at the front of the BMC train all the way until the line. He'll be hoping he can finish the Giro d'Italia in such fashion.

Advantage Rodriguez

In the battle for the overall, Rodriguez is in the strongest position, a statement one would not have expected to have made at the start of the race and with over 40 kilometres of time trialing covered.

"The team did a spectacular team time trial. We couldn't have gone a second faster. We'll see what Liquigas and Astana do, but we've done our bit," the Katusha leader said.

Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), Roman Kreuziger (Astana) and Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) all sit in close proximity, while the Lampre duo of Michele Scarponi and Damiano Cunego are on the back foot. John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale) at 2:43 and Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago - CSF Inox) are the furthest back.

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2Katusha Team0:00:05
3Astana Pro Team0:00:22
4Team Saxo BankRow 3 - Cell 2
5Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:24
9Sky Procycling0:00:30
10BMC Racing Team0:00:31
11Movistar Team0:00:32
13Team NetApp0:00:43
14Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:00:59
15Rabobank Cycling Team0:01:01
16Lotto Belisol Team0:01:05
17Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:10
18FDJ-BigMatRow 17 - Cell 2
19Colnago-CSF Inox0:01:12
20Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela0:01:44
21AG2R-La Mondiale0:01:45
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General classification after stage 4
1Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin - Barracuda10:01:53
2Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Barracuda0:00:10
3Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - BarracudaRow 2 - Cell 2
4Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda0:00:11
5Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:13
6Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo Bank0:00:19
7Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling0:00:21
8Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda0:00:25
9Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Barracuda0:00:26
10Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team0:00:30
11Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Barracuda0:00:31
14Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team0:00:33
15Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team0:00:35
17Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 16 - Cell 2
18Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:36
19Nelson Oliveira (Por) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:37
20Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 19 - Cell 2
21Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 21 - Cell 2
23Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha Team0:00:38
24Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:39
25Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 24 - Cell 2
26Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team0:00:40
27Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Saxo Bank0:00:41
29Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:00:42
30Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-NissanRow 29 - Cell 2
31Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha Team0:00:45
32Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin - BarracudaRow 31 - Cell 2
33Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:00:47
34Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 34 - Cell 2
36Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:00:49
37Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky ProcyclingRow 36 - Cell 2
38Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team0:00:50
39Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:51
40Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-NissanRow 39 - Cell 2
41Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:52
42Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:53
43Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team0:00:55
44Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 43 - Cell 2
45Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:00:56
46Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:00:57
48Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo BankRow 49 - Cell 2
51Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:58
53Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 52 - Cell 2
54Christian Meier (Can) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:59
56Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetAppRow 55 - Cell 2
57Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling0:01:01
58Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo BankRow 57 - Cell 2
59Branislau Samoilau (Blr) Movistar TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:01:02
61Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha Team0:01:03
62José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 62 - Cell 2
64Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale0:01:07
65Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Astana Pro TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Matthias Brandle (Aut) Team NetApp0:01:08
68Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan0:01:09
69Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 68 - Cell 2
70Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:01:10
71Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:01:11
72Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 71 - Cell 2
73Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:01:12
74Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia0:01:13
75Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 74 - Cell 2
76Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp0:01:14
77Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling0:01:15
79Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Team NetAppRow 78 - Cell 2
80Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team0:01:17
81Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Team Saxo BankRow 80 - Cell 2
82Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetAppRow 81 - Cell 2
83Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:01:19
84Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:01:20
85Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:01:22
86Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:24
87Timon Seubert (Ger) Team NetAppRow 86 - Cell 2
88Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:25
89Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank0:01:26
90Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
91Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:01:29
92Andreas Dietziker (Swi) Team NetApp0:01:32
93Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:01:33
94Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle ItaliaRow 94 - Cell 2
96Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:01:34
97Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD0:01:35
98Oliver Zaugg (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan0:01:36
99Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
100Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp0:01:37