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Giro d'Italia 2013: Stage 2


Buongiorno and welcome to the Cyclingnews coverage of stage two of the Giro d'Italia, a 17.4km team time trail on the island of Ischia.

Today's team time trial is just 17.4km long but is very technical with three climbs and numerous corners.  

The 23 teams in the Giro d'Italia will start at three minute interviews, starting with the Colombia team at 15:40 local time, in less than 30 minutes.

For a full list of start times and information on the strength of the teams, click here.

Everything is ready on Ischia for the TTT. The teams and race caravan arrived this morning via ferry from Naples.

Despite the technical nature of the course, the teams have opted to use team time trial bikes.

For our insightful video preview of stage 2 click here.

More than pure power and speed, TTT technique will be vital for success. It will be about riding as a team, making the changes at the right time and finishing five riders together. 

The riders have been out studying the course earlier and there has already been a crash: Junajo Cobo (Movistar) went down and hurt his left knee. It will not stop racing.

The teams are currently doing their warm-up and preparing for their ride.

We're just minutes away now from the start of the cronosquadre, as the TTT is called in Italian.

Who is your favourite to win? We think it will be close between Team Sky, Garmin-Sharp, Movistar, Radioshack and BMC.

Mark Cavendish has a 20-second lead on most of his rivals, Will that be enough for him to hold onto the pink jersey?We'll find out in a couple of hours time.

Garmin-Sharp is also warming up for the TTT.

Here we go!

3-2-1 and the Colombia team is off, rolling down the start ramp for their 17.4km TTT.

This will be a real test for the Colombian climbers.

On this course, the teams will follow a single line race strategy, with riders dropping back one by one after their turns on the front.

As usual, times will be calculated on the fifth rider crossing the line.

Next off is Ag2r-La Mondiale, with Pozzovivo and Betancur. They're off!

The Colombia look good in formation,with riders doing turns of several hundred metres before dropping back on the left side.

Team Blanco is now on the start ramp, with team leader Robert Gesink.

They're off! The opening kilometres are slightly uphill and allow the tams to settle into their pace.

Colombia has already lost a rider. However the best tactic maybe to ride with just five ride in the final part of the course to go as fast as possible. 

Colombia has a set an intermediate of 10:36. Watch for other teams to go much, much quicker.

Next off is the Argos-Shimano team. 

Ag2r set an int time of 10:34. 

Saxo-Tinkoff is off next. Can they win? They could be a surprise.

3-2-1. Via! Go!

Here comes Blanco. At the int time they set 10:25.

Lotto Belisol is off next.

The Colombia team is down to six riders. 

Here we go. Team Sky is about to start.

Sky has super team, including Wiggins, Italian national TT champion Dario Cataldo and former Under 23 world TT champion Danny Pate.

Wiggins is leading Team Sky in the opening kilometres.

Here comes the Colombia team, setting a time of 23:01.

Vini Fantini is off next, setting off carefully, to stay together.

Ag2r-La Mondiale finishes with a time of 22:55.

Vacansoleil is off now, aboard their Bianchi TT bikes.

Team Sky is still all together lined-out, with Uran leading on the mid-stage climb.

Blanco finishes with six riders, in a time of 22:33, the new fastest time. For now.

Pate has dropped off from the Team Sky line.

Cannondale is now on the course.

Team Sky is on fire, setting an intermediate time of 10:12.

Pate gets back on, suggesting that Team Sky is not risking everything in this TTT.

Explore the route of stage 2 in high detail with Google Maps, Earth and Street View here.

Team Sky has lost Knees after the German does some hard work.

At the finish Argos-Shimano set a time of 23:18.

Vini Fantini is going well, just 9 seconds slower than Team Sky at the int time.

Team Sky is about to tackle the last climb of the 17.4km course.

Saxo-Tinkoff finish next with a time of 22:48. Not a great time.

Euskaltel is off on their ride.

Team Sky has just five riders left up front.

Now they're going for it.

Here comes Sky!

The British team sets a time of 22:05  A new fastest time. Can anyone beat that?

As expected, Cataldo brought Team Sky home and so if they in and beat Omega Pharma by more than 20 seconds, then he will take the pink jersey.

Vini Fantini is also going well too.

They have just five riders and finish with a time of 22:27.

Elia Viviani (Cannondale) is the biggest threat to Cataldo for the pink jersey. He has an advantage of 12 seconds on his fellow Italian.

Next off is Astana. The Kazakh team will be looking to limit their losses to Team Sky to help team leader Vincenzo Nibali.

FDJ rolls down the start ramp, with Laurent Pichon covered in bandages after his crash on Saturday. He has four stitches in a mouth wound.

Here comes Cannondale!

They finish in a time of 22:40. That is 35 seconds slower than Sky and Viviani won't take the pink jersey.

Lampre-Merida is gonig well, setting 10:13 at the int split, just one second slower than Team Sky. Can they hold it to the finish?

Here comes Katusha. They were fast at the int time but have lost a lot in the second part. They set a time of 22:24. 19 seconds down on Team Sky.

Movistar is the new fastest time at the int time mark:10:10. Faster than Team Sky! Can they hold it?

Garmin-Sharp is off next, with Robert Hunter leading the team away.

Astana is off the pace at the inter time with 10:18.

Lampre has to wait for their fifth rider. This is going to cost them dear.

Euskaltel also struggling. They're going to finish in four but the time is taken on the fifth rider, who is riding alone behind. 

It seems that Salvatore Puccio could take the pink jersey if Team Sky can gain 20 seconds on Cavendish. The young Italian is best placed on the two stages and finished with the leading five riders.

Lampre-Merida finishes with a time of 22:27 losing the fifth rider for a while cost them a lot.  

Movistar set a time of 22:14. just 9 seconds slower than Sky.

Garmin at the int time: 10:22. That's off the pace but they could finish fast. 

Here comes Astana, setting a time of 22:19 Nibali has lost 14 seconds to Wiggins today.

BMC is out on the course, Taylor Phinney will play a key role today. 

FDJ set a time of 23:00.

RadioShack comes home but with a slow time of 22:48.

Omega Pharma is at the intermediate point but Cavendish is already slower by 24 seconds.

Garmin-Sharp is losing riders in the final two kilometres. They won't win today.

Garmin-Sharp sets a time of 22:30. Hesjedal has lost 25 seconds to Wiggins today. That is a lot.

Three teams still to finish: BMC, Orica, OPQS.

Here comes BMC, with Phinney bringing them home, and setting a time of 22:42. Evans has lost 37 seconds to Wiggins today.

Orica is descending to the finish, while OPQS is on the last climb.

Orica was lucky to stay up and stay together on a fost corner, two riders almost crashed.

Orica-GreenEdge sets a time of 22:33.

Cavendish is wearing a pink skinsuit but he has non chance of keeping it. Salvatore Puccio looks set to pull on the pink jersey after Team Sky's super fast time. 

Omega Pharma stops the clock in 22:53. Cavendish loses the pink jersey to Salvatore Puccio of Team Sky.

Team Sky wins the TTT in a time of 22:05.

Movistar is second at 9 seconds.

As expected, Team Sky won the TTT and gained some precious seconds on their min rivals for overall victory. Wiggins will be happy today and Team sky can now celebrate on the podium.

The nine riders are on the podium, collecting the applause. The team has put down a mark today and showed they are strong and ready to race hard for three weeks.

Yet again, Wiggins leads the champagne shower, covering his teammates in the bubbly.

Puccio is confirmed in the pink jersey, with the four Team Sky teammates filling the places behind him. Wiggins is second overall based on stage placings.

Puccio is enjoying his moment in pink, spraying the crowd with champagne. 

Cavendish has the consolation of taking the red points jersey.

Italy's Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) keeps the blue climber's jersey.

That wraps up our live coverage of stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia from Ischia.

Team Sky has lived up to the expectations and won the 17.4km team time trial, with Salvatore Puccio taking the pink jersey.

Monday's third stage is from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea. It is over 222m, with the the first part on the twisting Amalfi coast and two testing climbs in the final 80km. 

We will have a full stage report, huge photo galleries, news and interviews here at Cyclingnews very soon.   

Join us tomorrow for live coverage of stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia. Arrivederci! 

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