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Omega Pharma-Quick Step win Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial

Omega Pharma-Quick Step claimed victory in the opening team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico and put Mark Cavendish into the overall lead with a harmonious collective effort on a rainy afternoon in Tuscany. The Belgian squad made light of the conditions to hurtle around the 16.9km route from San Vincenzo to Donoratico some 11 seconds clear of Movistar and 16 ahead of BMC.

While Cavendish will wear the first maglia azzurra of the race after crossing the line in front, he was quick to acknowledge the role world time trial champion Tony Martin had played in securing the win for a well-oiled Omega Pharma-Quick Step squad. The team averaged 52.286kph to see off Movistar – for whom Alex Dowsett impressed – and a BMC team that included Taylor Phinney and Cadel Evans.

Asked to explain the reason for his team’s success, Cavendish was to the point. “Two words, one name: Tony Martin,” he said, and then joked: “There are no real egos here except maybe me, but it was all about getting eight guys from point A to point B as quickly as possible. When a team time trial works out, it’s the best feeling in cycling.”

Impressive though Martin was, however, Cavendish himself has considerable pedigree in the discipline – he won Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España team time trials with HTC – and Omega Pharma-Quick Step could also count on Michal Kwiatkowski, Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra.

Even though they were down to the bare five riders for the final kilometres, that quintet had the right blend of horsepower and cohesion, and they made light of the greasy conditions to take a convincing win. Three seconds up on the Movistar after 7.9km, Omega Pharma gradually padded their advantage in the finale, to win by 11 seconds.

“I can’t remember if I've done a team time trial in weather like that. Probably not so wet and technical but it was a good day,” Cavendish said. “We trained yesterday on the course in the pissing rain and this morning too. We knew what it was going to be like in the rain. It didn't matter about the weather, the guys wanted to keep practicing and practicing to get it right, and they certainly did. It was nice to be part of it."

Thanks to BMC’s third place, Cadel Evans is the best-placed of the out-and-out pre-race favourites, and while his gains were marginal, Tirreno-Adriatico is a race usually decided by seconds. A Dmitriy Gruzdev crash hindered Astana’s effort, but they still placed 5th at 20 seconds, meaning that Vincenzo Nibali yielded just four seconds to Evans.

Chris Froome and Sky were a lacklustre 7th, 25 seconds down, while Alberto Contador starts the race at a relative disadvantage after his Saxo-Tinkoff squad could only manage 8th at 32 seconds. “The differences are important, we lost 16 seconds with BMC and also lost time to Astana and Sky, who are direct rivals, but we cannot think that this is definitive,” Contador said. “It is true that these races are won or lost by a few seconds, but well, this is just beginning.”

The news was worse for his fellow countryman Joaquim Rodriguez: his Katusha team couldn’t reproduce its surprise showing from last year’s Giro d’Italia team time trial in Verona, and lost 44 seconds. “Honestly we expected a better result,” Rodriguez admitted. “We had a bad start, not taking the first corners at our best. A couple of times our group broke, and we lost two important riders such as Paolini and Kuchynski. Anyway, the most important thing was not to fall during this hard day: we'll see what we can do during the next stages."

Elsewhere, Fabian Cancellara gave yet another exhibition of how having such a powerful individual in your line-up can be a mixed blessing in a team event, as RadioShack Leopard could only place 10th at 36 seconds, with Andy Schleck dropped before the finish. Moreno Moser is considered something of a wildcard for the general classification, and Cannondale did his chances no harm with a workmanlike 4th place, 19 seconds down.

Speaking of dark horses, of course, Tony Martin finds himself in an ideal position before the action gets underway in earnest. The German will struggle to match the likes of Contador, Froome et al on the slopes of Prati di Tivo at the weekend, but with his current buffer and a short time trial on the final day in San Benedetto del Tronto, Martin has ample motivation to limit his losses in the mountains in the days ahead.

Before that, however, the sprinters ought to have their opportunities, with Thursday’s stage to Indicatore expected to see the first clash of the season between the blue jersey Cavendish and his great rival André Greipel (Lotto Belisol).

Full Results
1Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:19:24
2Movistar Team0:00:11
3BMC Racing Team0:00:16
4Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:19
5Astana Pro Team0:00:20
7Sky Procycling0:00:25
8Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:29
10RadioShack Leopard0:00:36
11Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:00:37
12Team NetApp-Endura0:00:39
14Team Argos-Shimano0:00:51
15Lotto Belisol0:00:54
19Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:04
20Ag2R La Mondiale0:01:05
21Vini Fantini-Selle Italia0:01:06

General classification after stage 1
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:19:24
2Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
4Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
5Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
6Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team0:00:11
7Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
8Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team
9Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team
10Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team
11Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team
12Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar Team
13Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:16
14Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
15Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team
16Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
17Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
18Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:19
19Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling
20Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
21Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
22Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
23Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling
24Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:20
25Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team
26Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
27Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
28Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
29Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team
30Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge0:00:24
31Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
32Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge
33Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
34Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
35Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
36Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling0:00:25
37Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
38Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling
39Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky Procycling
40Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
41Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling
42Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
43Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:29
44Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
45Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
46Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
47Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
48Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:32
49Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:35
50Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
51Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida
52Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida
53Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
54Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
55Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard0:00:36
56Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard
57Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack Leopard
58Danilo Hondo (Ger) RadioShack Leopard
59Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard
60Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:00:37
61Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
62Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
63Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
64Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
65Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:38
66Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
67David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team NetApp-Endura0:00:39
68Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura
69Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp-Endura
70Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp-Endura
71Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
72Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha0:00:44
73Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha
74Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
75Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha
76Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha
77Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
78Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:51
79Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
80Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
81John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
82Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano
83Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:54
84Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol
85André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
86Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
87Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol
88Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol
89Bram Tankink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:00:57
90Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
91Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp
92Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
93Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
94Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
95Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN-Qhubeka0:01:00
96Jacobus Venter (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka
97Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka
98Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
99Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka
100Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka
101Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ0:01:02
102Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ
103Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ
104Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
105Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ
106Laurent Mangel (Fra) FDJ
107Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:04
108Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
109Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
110Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
111Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
112Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
113Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:05
114Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
115Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
116Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
117Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
118Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia0:01:06
119Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
120Francesco Failli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
121Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
122Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
123Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
124Robert Vrecer (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi
125Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
126Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre) Euskaltel-Euskadi
127Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
128Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
129Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
130José Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Team NetApp-Endura0:01:09
131Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:01:10
132Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia0:01:17
133Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:01:22
134Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
135Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Sharp0:01:26
136Stijn Devolder (Bel) RadioShack Leopard0:01:27
137Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack Leopard
138Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia0:01:34
139Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:35
140Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ0:01:50
141Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp-Endura0:01:54
142Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura
143Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
144Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:02:05
145Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
146Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
147Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia0:02:10
148Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:02:20
149Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:02:26
150Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:02:27
151Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol
152Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:30
153Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Sky Procycling0:02:31
154Martin Reimer (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka0:02:35
155Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:02:37
156Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:02:38
157Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-Sharp0:02:43
158Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin-Sharp
159Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:02:47
160Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:02:48
161Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
162Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:55
163Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ0:02:56
164Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka0:02:57
165Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:03:07
166Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
167Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:03:10
168Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
169Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack Leopard0:03:11
170Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:15
171Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha0:03:20
172Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha
173Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:36
174Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:03:48
175Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-Tinkoff

Best young rider classification
1Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:19:24
2Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team0:00:11
3Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:16
4Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:19
5Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
6Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling0:00:25
7Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling
8Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:35
9Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard0:00:36
11Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:00:37
12Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
13David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team NetApp-Endura0:00:39
14Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp-Endura
15Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:51
16John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
17Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:54
18Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp0:00:57
19Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp
20Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka0:01:00
21Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ0:01:02
22Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:05
23Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:01:06
24Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
25Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Sky Procycling0:02:31
26Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:02:37
27Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:02:48
28Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
29Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:55
30Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ0:02:56

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Barry Ryan

Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.

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