Slipstream Wins Giro TTT; Vande Velde Takes Maglia Rosa
Slipstream has won Stage 1 of the Giro d'Italia. The American squad smoked the technical, 23.6-km team time trial in Palermo in 26:32. CSC finished second at 0:06, and High Road took third, a fraction of a second behind CSC. Christian Vande Velde (Slipstream) is the 2008 Giro's first maglia rosa.
Milram was the first team to start, and the German outfit posted a 27:17. Tinkoff bettered Milram's time by 0:12 to set the early standard. Several teams made unsuccessful attempts to take the lead before Slipstream, which shed David Millar in the last km, blasted across the finish line with the day's fastest time.
Astana finished next with a 27:01, and Euskaltel followed suit with a 27:49, the second slowest time of the day. (Francaise des Jeux's 27:59 was the slowest.) CSC posted the day's fastest time (until then) at the 10-km checkpoint, but Slipstream finished well and the Danish squad might have faded slightly. Barloworld had the fastest 10-km time of the day but faded more than CSC to finish fifth in 26:46. High Road shed Kanstantsin Siutsiu and waited for him, which might have made the difference between winning and losing.
In the overall, Vande Velde leads teammates Dave Zabriskie and Ryder Hesjedal by fractions of a second. Stage 2 will be a challenge for the American squad in its bid to keep the maglia rosa. The 207-km ride from Cefalu to Agrigento is hilly and will end with a four-km climb. Will the Slipstreamers keep the overall lead, or will someone take it from them? If the latter, then who? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!