Thursday, May 30, 2024

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 2: Ischia – Forio (TTT), 17.4km. Sky Win.

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Sky’s Italian rider Salvatore Pucccio pulled on the pink jersey at the end of the second stage of the Giro d’Italia, a Team Time Trial as specialists Garmin never got to grips with the tricky parcours and Sir Brad got his Giro campaign off to a great start.

Pucci is 23 and doesn’t have much of a pro palmares – but he’s a worker for Sky, not a winner.

But if you check back his amateur palmares you’ll find an U23 Ronde Van Vlaanderen in there – so there’s little doubt about his quality.

Giro d'Italia
Salvatore Puccio, relaxed at the launch of the new Rapha team issue kit.

According to Wikipedia, Ischia is German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fave holiday spot – we knew it wouldn’t be Greece – Truman Capote and Henrik Ibsen spent time on the island and parts of the movie, ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ were shot here.

It measures approximately 10 km east to west and 7 km north to south and has about 34 kilometres (21 miles) of coastline and a surface area of 46.3 square kilometres (17.9 sq. miles) and the TTT uses just about all of the main road on the island.

It’s almost entirely mountainous; the highest peak being Mount Epomeo at 788 m and the population is around 60,000 people.

The island may be beautiful but some of the hardware the teams were riding wasn’t.

It was Stephen Roche who said that the advent of the ‘velo plongeant’ – low profile bike – in the late 70’s spelled the end of beautiful, sleek, slim time trial bikes.

Wiggin’s Pinarello Bolide may come up with all the correct coefficients in the wind tunnel – but it’s anything but bonnie.

The Graal was not a thing of beauty and the Bolide is even uglier – but ends justify means in the world of ‘marginal gains.’

Giro d'Italia
Sky Pro Cycling team blasted into the pink today. Photo©Ferrari/LaPresse

On the subject of which, the Sky ribbed skinsuits would be interesting things to handle and chat to their designer about – but they’ll be ‘top secret’ no doubt.

But is that the best their designers could come up with for Cataldo’s Italian TT champion skinsuit; ‘come on, we’ll stick an Italian flag on the front!

Mega aero bikes, futuristic skinsuits – so why have Uran’s locks flowing in the breeze?

Back when Fignon lost the 1989 Tour to Lemond in the final time test, one of the US aero gurus of the time worked out that it was his hair which cost him the race – if his ponytail had been tucked neatly inside an aero helmet the reduction of drag and watts saved would have been enough to give him the seconds he needed.

I must mention that to Sir David, next time I bump into him…

Giro d'Italia
Astana await their start. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

Watching riders drop off the string reminded me of how spectacular it is when a rider blows in a TTT.

Dave and I followed CSC – with Cancellara and Zabriskie – in the Giro TTT in Sardinia back in 2007; when riders cracked they went backwards past us so fast that it was difficult to get a picture of them.

In a TTT at the highest level, some of the riders will be right on the edge of their capabilities – when the grade kicks up, there’s no more heart rate left and once you’re out in the wind, it’s over.

Giro d'Italia
Mark Cavendish’s only day in pink was to last less than 23 minutes. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

It was a surprise to see Sky finish with just five riders and also a surprise to see Lampre just one second off the Sky pace at the time check – a fact which the commentary team at Eurosport missed.

But they didn’t miss that Movistar went through two seconds faster than Sky – remember that the Spaniards won the Vuelta TTT in fine style, last year.

Spain’s other Pro Tour squad, Euskaltel messed it up badly, with their fifth man way off the back – Sanchez’s slim chances of a podium now even slimmer.

Lampre lost time on the second half of the course, having to sit up and wait for their fifth man on one of the drags – a one second deficit at the time check became 22 by the line.

Movistar – despite the screamed exhortations of their DS – also let it slip in the second half, finishing seven seconds down on Sky.

Giro d'Italia
Movistar are keyed up for a good time trial. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

And despite us hearing about all the time Nibali was going to lose to Sir Brad in the time trials, the man from Messina will not be too disappointed that his Astana boys dropped just 14 seconds.

Adam Blythe ‘popped’ out of BMC – but with Phinney driving, that’s no shame.

Giro d'Italia
BMC were destined to finish middle-table. Photo©Ferrari

The Shack didn’t trouble the time keeper as QuickStep’s time at the check meant that Cav would be just one (short) day in the pink.

Garmin’s ride was a surprise, seventh when they crossed the line – they won it last year and the TTT is their specialty. JV won’t be fun at dinner, tonight.

Giro d'Italia
Garmin wanted to win in an event they regard as their speciality. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

And as with Sanchez, Evan’s slim chances of a podium received a body blow when the watch stopped for BMC at 37 seconds down on Sky.

GreenEDGE disappointed too, 28 seconds back for another squad with a name as TTT experts – that’ll be another quiet dinner table.

Giro d'Italia
Matt Goss looks over as the GreenEDGE team get the countdown. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

And as the intermediate time check indicated, the maglia rosa slipped from Cav’s shoulders – with QuickStep way off the pace.

Not a good day to be asking Cav for quotes, I’m thinking.

As we said, a great start for Brad and Sky, but by the time we get to the Dolomites it’ll all seem so long ago…

Giro d'Italia
Exclusive ferry travel for the new race leader. Photo©Daniele Bottallo

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Result - Giro d'Italia 2013 - Stage 2: Ischia - Forio (TTT), 17.4km

Stage Result

1 Sky Procycling 0:22:05
2 Movistar Team 0:00:09
3 Astana Pro Team 0:00:14
4 Katusha 0:00:19
5 Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:00:22
6 Lampre-Merida
7 Garmin-Sharp 0:00:25
8 Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:00:28
9 Orica-GreenEdge
10 Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:34
11 Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:35
12 BMC Racing Team 0:00:37
13 Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 0:00:41
14 RadioShack Leopard 0:00:43
15 Team Saxo-Tinkoff
16 Androni Giocattoli 0:00:46
17 Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:48
18 Ag2R La Mondiale 0:00:50
19 FDJ 0:00:55
20 Colombia 0:00:56
21 Lotto Belisol 0:01:00
22 Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:01:01
23 Team Argos-Shimano 0:01:13

General Classification after Stage 2

1 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling 3:20:43
2 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling
3 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
4 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky Procycling
5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
6 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:09
7 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
8 José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team
10 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team
11 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:00:14
12 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
13 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
14 Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team
15 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
16 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
17 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha 0:00:19
18 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
19 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha
20 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha
21 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha
22 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:00:22
23 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
24 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
25 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
26 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
27 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
28 Fabio Taborre (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
29 Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
30 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida
31 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida
32 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:23
33 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:25
34 Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
35 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
36 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp
37 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
38 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp
39 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:28
40 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
41 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
42 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
43 Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
44 Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdge
45 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
46 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
47 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
48 Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
49 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
50 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:34
51 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
52 Willem Wauters (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
53 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Te