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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.

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.'

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Bobby Julich:

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.


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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.

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