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Bradley Wiggins’ Sky team helped its overall title hopes Tuesday afternoon with a team time trial win in stage 1b at the Giro del Trentino in Lienz, Austria.
Sky finished the 14.1km team test in 15:20, 13 seconds better than Vincenzo Nibali and Astana. Lampre-Merida was third, at 16 seconds.
Joséf Cerny (CCC Polsat) leads the overall with three stages remaining. Stage 1a winner Maxime Bouet (Ag2r La Mondiale) is second, at 11 seconds. Michael Rodriguez (Colombia) is third, at 16 seconds.
Wiggins and most of his Sky teammates sit 6:03 down on the general classification after Cerny, Bouet, and Rodriguez were part of an eight-man breakaway to survive to the finish in stage 1a on Tuesday morning. The Trentino tour is the squad’s final major test before the Giro d’Italia kicks off on May 4 in Naples.
“Today was a really nice result for the team. There was no stress. We felt good before the start and we knew what we needed to do,” said Sky’s Kanstantsin Siutsou. “For preparation ahead of the Giro it is important. I’m happy that I could do my best today, as did everyone, and we worked together perfectly. I’m really happy that we could produce a performance like this and it is great for morale.
“The most important thing here is that we work together well as a team. Making sure every element of the team is looked at like we did today in the team time trial. Tomorrow it is on to the climbs and that will help us to see how we work in and around the big teams and the guys like Nibali, [Ivan] Basso, and [Cadel] Evans.”
The Giro del Trentino continues Wednesday with stage 2 from Sillian, Austria, to Vetriolo Terme, Italy. The 224km stage covers two Cat. 1 climbs, with the Passo Lavazé coming 124km into the stage and the finish lying atop the 13.5km ascent to Vetriolo Terme.