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Giro d'Italia 2015: Stage 1


Good morning and welcome to our live coverage from the Giro d'Italia.

Hello and welcome to our live coverage from this year's Giro d'Italia. We will be with you for the next three weeks, bringing you all of the action from one of the world's most beautiful bikes races. We start here in San Lorenzo al Mare for  the first stage, a 17.6 km team time trial to San Remo.

Teams and riders have already arrived and tested out the course for the first time under closed conditions. The official start, with the first team off, is in around 45 minutes from now. The Lampre-Merida team is first off at 15:10 local time, followed by Ag2r-La Mondiale, Androni Giocattoli and Astana.

There's a real buzz here at the start, so much tension and anticipation in the air, as is always the way with a grand tour start. Rider to our left are warming up outside their buses: headphones on, eyes down as team mechanics make their final adjustments.

Weather wise, it's almost perfect. A few clouds in the sky, warm but not too hot and a bit of a breeze that could become a headwind out on the tricky course. There's little to no chance of rain predicted.

Teams start at five-minute intervals. This is to avoid any problems with riders who may be dropped on the relatively narrow (6.5m) bike path.

The team time trial will create the first time differences in the overall classification, with Team Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo looking to gain a few seconds for their team leaders Richie Porte and Alberto Contador. Orica-GreenEdge are the favourites to win but will no doubt be challenged by world TTT champions BMC, Team Sky and Etixx-QuickStep.

BMC starts at 15:45, Team Sky and Etixx-Quickstep follows them at 15:50 and 15:55 respectively. Orica-GreenEdge start at 16:25, with Tinkoff-Saxo off at 16:45. Cannondale-Garmin starts at 16:50, with FDJ the last team to start at 16:55.

And remember you can find our complete Giro d'Italia race coverage right here on The page is packed with stage previews, news, photos, interviews, and in a few hours, results from the first stage of this year's race.

Tell us, who do you think will pull on the first maglia rosa of this year's race? Simon  Gerrans, Richie Porte, Rigoberto Uran? You can Tweet your predictions to us here.

As Alasdair Fotheringham wrote in his stage preview '17.6 kilometre team time trial will be held almost entirely on bike paths based on abandoned railway lines running alongside the Ligurian coast, which are part of a bigger 60 kilometre network, known as Cycling Riviera.'


"As such, Saturday’s opening leg of the Giro d’Italia is almost completely flat – a plus for the riders given they face around 40,000 metres of vertical climbing in this year’s race. In fact, there is a maximum height gain of a whopping eight metres on the entire course, which wriggles in a more or less straight line between the two coastal towns of San Lorenzo al Mare and San Remo, starting at five metres above sea level and finishing at four."


You can read the full and extensive stage preview, just here.


Everthing is ready, just waiting for the riders. Start of the TTT for us at 15:35. #Giro

@TrekFactory Sat, 9th May 2015 13:42:41

Our @iamspecialized bikes are ready for the 17.6km #Giro TTT! We start at 15.55 local time! Good luck guys! @tacx

@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 9th May 2015 13:46:33

Coming into the race it was confirmed that the LottoNL-Jumbo team has announced that Kiwi rider George Bennett will not start the Giro d’Italia after pre-race UCI tests revealed he had a low cortisol level.


Bennett is allowed to race under UCI rules but the Dutch LottoNL-Jumbo team is part of the Mouvement Pour un Cyclise Credible (MPCC), who rules stop riders for racing with low cortisol level to safeguard their health above and beyond the UCI rules.


The team will start the race with eight riders. Full story here.

Teams were also out on the course yesterday afternoon, and we have a gallery of images here.


Meanwhile Lampre are close to winding down their warm-up. They'll be the first team off in just over ten minutes from now.

Contador is warming up at the moment. He comes into the race as the number one favourite, with the strongest palmares among the GC contenders. We caught up with the Spaniard yesterday with this exclusive video interview.

Away from the Giro, very briefly, and the story between Tinkov and Peter Sagan rumbles on. The team owner was quite critical of his new signing in a blog on CN earlier this week and Sagan has responded at the Tour of California press conference.


“I don’t know if it’s about pressure,” Sagan said. “I’m riding for myself and for the team. I ride the bike because I like riding, and then I’m here.”


The full story is right over here.

@dnlbenson Simon Gerrans to wear the first Maglia Rosa

@ericparker1970 Sat, 9th May 2015 13:54:56

Lampre Merida approach the start line. The 2015 Giro d'Italia is about to begin.

The Italian World Tour team roll down the ramp and the 98th edition of this race is underway.

They quickly form into a long line as they head onto the bike path. A decent start from the team with Przemyslaw Niemiec taking a turn on the front. He's their best chance for  GC result in this race.

@dnlbenson Luka Mezgec in the pink today.

@santiagobenites Sat, 9th May 2015 14:12:01

Domenico Pozzovivo and his AG2R teammates are now on the start ramp and they're about to begin their Giro Odyssey. Not the best TTT team so they'll be hoping to limit their losses and come through the stage unscathed .

Androni are the next team to set off. Savio's men are here for stage wins and they'll aim to get into breaks throughout the race. They don't really have a true GC rider and today will just be about survival.

And now we welcome co-commentator Bobby Julich into our live coverage. The former rider will be with us throughout today's stage as well as several other key days throughout the race.

So Bobby, firstly, welcome. Tell us what are you expecting from today's stage?

Bobby Julich:

I think that the course is a bit special being on a bike path and all, but it is the same for everyone and should produce some exciting racing. As for the favourites, I don’t think you can go outside of the favourites from the past few years on a course like this.


Aru and his Astana team are next up. The Italian takes a huge cheer from the crowd but he's not had the best preparation so far this year with illness disrupting his programme. He's also had to deal with the stress from the Astana licence situation. That's now resolved, of course.

CN: You’ve been part of some epic TTT’s yourself. Can you give us an indication as to what it’s like in those minutes before you start as a team.


I guess it would depend on how comfortable you are in this special event. For some it is excitement, but others it is straight up stress and panic. Obviously the first choice would be the best!


CN: Two of your TTT stand out from memory, the day Credit Agricole won the stage and help O'Grady keep yellow. what do you remember about that day because many expected the team to lose the jersey.

AG2R meanwhile are down to seven riders, and they're looking a little ragged at the moment. Trek are about start their TTT.

The wind has picked up and there are some cross winds out in the middle part of the course. That will certainly be a factor in the stage.

Lampre finished in a time of 20:20 and AG2R come to the line 11 seconds faster. Back to the team bus for Lampre

Bobby Julich:

That was 2001 and I remember that it was a day that everything went wrong, but our “training” kicked in and allowed us to focus on going as fast as possible with whatever was thrown at us. We had some big engines that day, but were reduced down to only 5 riders pulling pretty quickly.


Astana go fastest at the first time check, 14 second quicker.

Androni have lost two men but they won't be too concerned about that. Astana will set the first serious marker for the day though. They should be at the line in the next ten minutes or so.

CN: Bobby the other TTT that stands out was the day Dave Zabriskie had yellow but crashed near the line and lost the jersey to Armstrong. You were a teammate of Zabriskie then. What do you remember from that particular day?

Bobby Julich:

That was the fastest I have ever gone in a TTT. I remember the first flat part we were flying!! There is still no reason for what happened to Dave Z besides that Lance had a voodoo doll:) His team was coming back on us a bit towards the end, but we would have won if DZ’s crash didn’t disrupt things. Losing that one by 1 second was HARD TO TAKE!


BMC, the world champions in this discipline are next to start. The American team roll down the ramp as Astana approach the finish line.

Here come Aru, all nine riders still in the mix and they're going to set the fastest time, 19:39.

Here come Aru, all nine riders still in the mix and they're going to set the fastest time, 19:39.

BMC look smooth and swift as the set out on the course. Not the same batch of riders who won the TTT at the Worlds last year but this squad will be well drilled and versed in the tactics for today.

Bobby Julich:

They are well drilled and pay very good attention to the equipment options for sure! Today will be important confirmation of their result last year in the Worlds.


And now Richie Porte sets off with his Team Sky around him. They are one of the favourites for the stage today and the overall with the Australian. They won the TTT in Trentino and will be looking to defeat Orica GreenEdge who won this stage 12 months ago.

Bobby Julich:

When it comes to the weaker guys you never want guys to not contribute, but if they can’t, the worst thing for them to do is to pull through and lower the speed of the team. Two options, quick turns or just stay out of the way.


#Giro Bardiani with the 3rd time at the split point: +9s

@CyclingUptodate Sat, 9th May 2015 14:52:16

CN: You know Porte from your Saxo early days and Team Sky. What do you make of his chances?

Meanwhile Trek Factory come over the line with Nizzolo near the front. He could take the maglia rosa in the first week if he takes enough bonus seconds as we see Team Sky motor along the flat course. So far, so good for the British WorldTour team.

Bobby Julich:

I think that Richie is having a season very similar to Brad in 2012 and Chris in 2013. Back then everyone said that they would fold sooner or later, but both of them proved to win basically the whole year. I wouldn’t bet against Mr. Porte.


Etixx look rapid as they head along the coastline. Uran doing a longer turn than most on the front, with Boonen also doing his share of the work. The Belgian team could certainly win today.

Giant Alpecin are next to start but up the road all nine riders for Etixx and Team Sky are going head-to-head.

David De La Cruz has lost contact with his Etixx teammates, so they're down to eight riders as BMC approach the line and set a time 12 seconds down on Astana.

Bobby Julich:

With all that happened with their GC leader in the past few days, I think that it is quite respectable for the BMC team.


Darwin Atapuma lost his mother earlier this week and our sincere condolences go out to him and his family.

Etixx lay down an important marker and are two seconds faster than Astana at the intermediate time check. Here comes Team Sky though.

One final corner for Porte and his teammates. They're not going to take the stage though as they finish third, 14 seconds down on Aru and Astana. That's a bit of a surprise.

Movistar are up next and they roll down the start ramp. Etixx, meanwhile, have lost another rider, but they were fastest at the intermediate time check.

Bobby Julich:

I expected a bit more from Team Sky there actually, but perhaps they had some guys pulling for too long? Astana did a good ride for sure but there are still some big teams to come.


Etixx are down to just six men as they approach the line. This is going to be really close.

They're not going to do it.

They've cracked and they're second, six seconds down on Astana.

As things stand:


1 Astana Pro Team 0:19:39
2 Etixx - Quick-Step 0:19:45
3 BMC Racing Team 0:19:51
4 Team Sky 0:19:53
5 Trek Factory Racing 0:19:55
6 Bardiani CSF 0:20:03
7 AG2R La Mondiale 0:20:14
8 Nippo - Vini Fantini 0:20:23
9 Lampre-Merida 0:20:25
10 Androni Giocattoli 0:20:29

CCC are off next. Paterski will lead the team but they have plenty of experience in the team and could certainly make an impact over the three weeks.

Movistar are rolling along nicely but all talk at the finish is about Team Sky and Astana, Aru's team putting 14 seconds into Porte. Aru could well be in pink by the end of the day, a impressive turn around given the Italian's recent illness.

IAM Cycling and Giant have both finished but neither will trouble the top three team. IAM do finish third though, and beat Team Sky.

And now Orica are on the road. The winners from this event last year are the out-right favourites but will they even have enough to challenge Aru and Astana?

Bobby Julich:

GreenEdge have many specialists and have the confidence to lay it all on the line. That Aussie attitude goes a long way in a TTT.


Movistar third over the line, eight seconds down on Astana but another squad that are ahead of Team Sky.

Orica GreenEdge are looking strong at this stage as they race along the coastline. The sun is out but there's still some wind around. Chaves in hanging on for dear life at the moment at the back of the Australian train.

The Australian team are on a downhill section and motoring towards the finish.

Bobby Julich:

For us at Tinkoff Saxo the plan is simply to go as fast and smooth as possible! There are no tricks today….You have to be on it from the start to finish and not make any mistakes. I still think that if you finish with 7-9 riders that you didn’t ride fast enough, but we will have to wait and see. This course does make it a bit easier to be on a bike path!


And Orica are eight seconds quicker than any team at the intermediate time check. That's a huge marker but have they gone out too fast?

Bobby Julich:

Alberto is the absolute personification of focus of the day. These guys are here to support him for the next three weeks and they need to get off to a good start. Steven de Jongh is the one calling the shots from the car, but Michael Rogers is the captain on the road.


Lotto Soudal have started and Katusha are on the start ramp, but only five riders so far.

Orica have lost two riders and they're down to seven men.

Bobby Julich:

I think that the team around Alberto is very strong, but there is no use talking about how strong they are before the race starts. They have to prove it each and every day for the next three weeks but they are ready to do just that.


And now it's Contador and his teammates who make it onto the start ramp. The Spaniard is about to start his 2015 Giro d'Italia.

1 Astana Pro Team 0:19:39
2 Etixx - Quick-Step 0:19:45
3 Movistar Team 0:19:47
4 BMC Racing Team 0:19:51
5 IAM Cycling 0:19:51
6 Team Sky 0:19:53
7 Trek Factory Racing 0:19:55
8 Bardiani CSF 0:20:03
9 CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:20:11
10 AG2R La Mondiale 0:20:14

And here come Orica towards the line. They're on for the stage win here.

13 seconds faster than Aru, that's huge and I think that's Simon Gerrans who came over the line in first place.

#Giro: Fastest by 13seconds so far! Six teams still to go. Now we wait...

@ORICA_GreenEDGE Sat, 9th May 2015 15:45:38

1 Orica GreenEdge 0:19:26
2 Astana Pro Team 0:19:39
3 Etixx - Quick-Step 0:19:45
4 Movistar Team 0:19:47
5 BMC Racing Team 0:19:51
6 IAM Cycling 0:19:51
7 Team Sky 0:19:53
8 Trek Factory Racing 0:19:55
9 Bardiani CSF 0:20:03
10 CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:20:11

Bobby Julich:

As predicted a very strong ride from Orica. They seem to have a plan and execute that plan almost to perfection in every TTT they do. Very strong effort and great for Simon (if this holds up) after getting knocked down so many times this year, but always gets back up. Like I said before that Aussie attitude..


Early stages but Contador still has all his men with him and they look to rolling along with real purpose, as one would suspect. Rogers is on the front with Contador having just taken a turn.

Lotto Soudal coming to the line and they'll want to keep Van Den Broeck up there and keep Greipel in contention for the maglia rosa in the first week.

Cannondale Garmin are riding well at the moment, Hesjedal a former winner, in their ranks. The American team crashed here last year and again in the TTT at Trentino so quite some pressure on them today. So far, so good as they look to keep the Canadian in the mix.

Tinkoff Saxo meanwhile have lost a rider, make that two and even Contador is struggling a bit, but they're actually two seconds up on Orica.

Basso and Contador were both struggling there for a couple of seconds, so the team will need to ease up and let them come back to them.

Bobby Julich:

Obviously someone pulled a bit too hard there after the split time. They have to settle back down because still a long way to go.


Garmin 29 seconds down on Tinkoff Saxo at the intermediate time check as Rogers takes another turn on the front. They're down to seven riders.

And Basso has been dropped with 1.5km to go.

Contador has just five men with him.

It looks like they're losing a bit of ground on Orica GreenEdge as they come into the final few corners.

Rogers is leading the team home.

No maglia rosa but they take second, seven seconds down on Orica GreenEdge who can start to celebrate.

1 Orica GreenEdge 0:19:26
2 Tinkoff-Saxo 0:19:33
3 Astana Pro Team 0:19:39
4 Etixx - Quick-Step 0:19:45
5 Movistar Team 0:19:47
6 BMC Racing Team 0:19:51
7 IAM Cycling 0:19:51
8 Team Sky 0:19:53
9 Team Katusha 0:19:53
10 Trek Factory Racing 0:19:55

Just Garmin and FDJ left out there on the road but neither are going to trouble Gerrans, who will lead the Giro d'Italia into tomorrow's second stage.

Bobby Julich:

I don’t think that there was too much time won or lost by the GC favourites. I think that everyone is happy that this stage is in the books and that the race has started with little to no accidents or incidents.


Cannondale-Garmin come over the line but they're well down on the stage win. So that just leaves FDJ out there on the road. 18th for Cannodale.

A decent ride from FDJ who take eighth on the stage. It's Orica who take the stage and the first maglia rosa of this year's race.

So Team Sky down in 9th at the finish. That's tough day for the British team and Richie Porte.

Bobby Julich:

For Richie a 20” head start given up to Alberto will be important. Saying that, I don’t think that there are many people out there that love the sport of cycling, who aren’t happy for Simon Gerrans after all he has been through this year.


General classification after stage 1

1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 0:19:26
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
3 Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
4 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge
5 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
6 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge
7 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:07
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
9 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
10 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo

Orica move onto the podium to take the win and Simon Gerrans will pull on the first maglia rosa of this year's race.

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 0:19:26
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
3 Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
4 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge
5 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
6 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge
7 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:07
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
9 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
10 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo

Porte loses out today and has dropped time on Contador, Uran and Aru.

However all of the GC riders will just be pleased to get this stage out of the way.

Bobby Julich:

With the first week set up like it is, and Simon riding well, they could possibly hold onto it for a week. I don’t think that many of the other GC teams would complain.


Thanks for joining us today Bobby, and thanks to you all at home for tuning in for the first stage of this year's Giro d'Italia.


You can find our report, results and photos, right here.

And if you're interested, a video profile of Richie Porte's time trial bike.

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