Liquigas Wins Giro Team Time Trial
Liquigas has won Stage 1 of the Giro d?Italia. The Italian squad powered over the rolling, technical, 25.6-km course from Caprera to La Maddalena to win the 2007 Giro?s team time trial in 33:38. Astana finished second at 0:13, and CSC took third at 0:30. Enrico Gasparotto took the maglia
CSC set the early standard with a 34:08. For a long time, the Danish team looked like a winner. Lampre and Tinkoff were the only other teams to cross the finish line in under 35:00 before Astana took the lead with a 33:51. Discovery Channel might have outdone CSC if a crash had not occurred in the final 800 m. Team captain Yaroslav Popovych went down, and the team waited for him. Five of the American squad?s riders finished together to post a 34:27, which was good for fifth.
Liquigas was third fastest at the first time check (8.7 km), 0:02 behind CSC. At the 16-km time check, however, the Italian squad was first, with Astana at 0:09 and Discovery Channel at 0:16. Liquigas continued to accelerate and finished 0:16 clear of Astana with Discovery Channel?s last-km mishap taking it out of the top four.
At the finish line, Liquigas had a mishap of its own. The team plan was to put Di Luca into the pink jersey. As the squad approached the finish line, however, Gasparotto led the team. Di Luca yelled at him and questioned him afterward. The issue was superficially smoothed over by riders and team management in front of journalists, but one wonders what will be said at a team meeting.
The first three stages of the Giro will be run on the