Liquigas Wins Giro TTT; Nibali Grabs Maglia Rosa
Liquigas has won Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia 2010.
Liquigas has won Stage 4 of the Giro. The Italian squad took the slightly uphill, 33.9-km team time trial from Savigliano to Cuneo in 36:37. Sky finished second at 0:13, and Columbia took third at 0:21. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) is the new maglia rosa.
BMC set the early standard. Cadel Evans's team rolled over the course in 00:37:58. That time remained the time to beat for 20 minutes. At that point, Katusha powered over the course 0:53 faster than BMC to take the lead.
Sky reached the 17.9-km time check with the day's fastest time. The British team was shedding riders, however, and reached the finish line with only six. Still, Sky took the lead with its 36:50, an impressive feat in the wind and rain.
Liquigas was 0:30 slower than Sky at the 17.9-km time check, but the Italian team finished strongly to take the lead from the British squad. Liquigas dropped four riders en route to the stage lead.
Columbia was 0:34 behind Sky at the time check but accelerated to within 0:08 of the British team at the finish. By the time Columbia reached the finish line, however, Liquigas had taken the lead.
Garmin was expected to contend for the stage win, but the team lost Christian Vande Velde, one of its strongest riders, to a Stage 3 crash. The team soldiered on with David Millar leading it, but it settled for eighth at 0:49.
In the overall, Nibali leads Liquigas team captain Ivan Basso by 0:13, with another Liquigas man, Valerio Agnoli, third at 0:20. Stage 5, a 162-km ride from Novara to Novi Liguire, probably will not affect the standings. It has three climbs, but none is difficult enough or close enough to the finish to affect the outcome. Again, a sprinter should win. Who will do so? Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre)? Tyler Farrar (Garmin)? Andre Greipel (Columbia)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!