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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 TTT Live Coverage
By Staff
Date: 5/10/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 TTT Live Coverage

91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 TTT Live Coverage
And the riders are off with Milram leading the grand high speed parade to decide the first wearer of pink in the 2008 tour of Italy.

Stage 1: Palermo  23.6 km Team Time Trial
Click on map for larger image -
Welcome to our live coverage -  It was the Milramen that kicked off the 91st edition of the first Grand Tour of the season in downtown Palermo.

More teams, like Tinkoff and Saunier Duval, as well as Cofidis, followed on the roads of Sicily's main city. Milram have made it to the first time check already: the Petacchi-less squad set a time of 11'51" and averaged over 52 kph. But Tinkoff came with a better record: 11 minutes and 36 seconds, flying at more than 53 kilometres per hour. Gibo Simoni's, aka Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli have been the last ones to take it to the startline thus far, at 0350 PM local time.

Cofidis have made it to the km.10 check too. But Verbrugghe and associates are not much up to the challenge today. They were losing 32 seconds to the Tinkoff armada at the very first check. Tinkoff are going so fast that two of their riders (one of whom is Albert Loddo) have lost contact to their teammates already.

Graphics courtesy Gazzetta della Sport

The Milram squad are getting closer and closer to the finish, while Caisse d'Epargne just started their own effort against the clock. Only a few hundred metres to go for the boys in blue .. here they go .. 300m ... 200m ... 100 ... one last sprint ... and here they are: 27 MINUTES, 16 SECONDS. Saunier's time after 10 kilometres: 11''56". They lost 20 seconds to the current leaders (Tinkoff)

Milram navigates the turn on the course. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1558 CEST - The situation so far (after 10 kms):
1. Tinkoff Credits System 11'36"
2. Milram: 11'51"
3. Saunier Duval-Scott 11'56"
4. Cofidis 12'08"
Diquigiovanni-Androni should be next to the same, first time check

1600 CEST - Tinkoff went under the red pennant. 1K TO GO for the leaders.... Tinkoff makes the rush to the finish. As predictable, Tinkoff bettered Milram's time to the finish: 27'04". They were faster by a dozen seconds.

1604 CEST - The mighty Slipstream-Chipotle are also running. The team many picked as today's winners got in the saddle about six minutes ago. Slipstream are down to eight men as Sutton lost contact after a few miles only. A sign of the high pace they're setting?

1606 CEST - Cofidis to the finish too: their time across the line was by far the worst (and third) time so far.  Gibo and Diquigiovanni made it to the 10-kilometre check, where they were losing sixteen seconds to Tinkoff.

1610 CEST - Quickstep are on the road too. And Astana are at the start line they go!

1611 CEST - Saunier has entered the final kilometre. If they want to beat Tinkoff they should cover the last thousand metres in 40 seconds, averaging 90 kph or so. Quite hard task, isn't it? They cross the line - without three riders- setting 27'34" 29 seconds down on Tinkoff. Three seconds better than Cofidis.

1613 CEST - The big guys are coming: Slipstream to the first check; and they set the best time of course: 11 minutes 32 seconds. Better than Tinkoff's by 4 secs. But watch out for the mighty Astana, with Levi, Contador and especially Kloeden. As much as many other top guys.

1615 CEST - Riccardo Riccò crossed the line in third place ... in his team's ranking. And Saunier is currently the third team ... out of four finishers: Again: 1. Tinkoff 2. Milram 3. Saunier 4.Cofidis.

But Diquigiovanni-Androni are coming: 1k to go for Gibo Simoni and his lieutenants. They were losing 21 seconds to Tinkoff at km. 19. And now... they end up with a time of 27'23". Their finish time is the third one. 18 seconds behind Tinkoff.

1618 CEST - Strange things happening in the Slipstream zone: both McCarty and Pate are struggling to stay with their teammates. Struggling? Nope, they have been dropped. The Slipstream peloton is down to six men only! Sutton, Pate, McCarthy are no longer part of it.

1620 CEST - Bettini's QuickStep scored a decent 11'50" at the first time check, losing 18 secs to Slipstream after 10 kilometres. Caisse d'Epargne nearing the finish line. They are under the flame rouge. But their time is not that great. No way they are going to win today.

1622 CEST - Astana after 10 km: 11'41". Nine seconds down to Slipstream, and five down to Tinkoff.

1624 CEST - Caisse d'Epargne weren't that bad either: 27'26" as finish time. That's the fourth time thus far, worse than Tinkoff's only by 21 seconds. The Spanish squad averaged 51.616 kph.

Zabriskie leads the Argyle squad to the win. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1625 CEST - SLIPSTREAM ROCKS!! They increased their lead over Tinkoff to 21 seconds at the km. 19 check. And they go so fast ... even Millar gets dropped. Sorry David, you are NOT gonna wear that jersey today.  One turn to go for Slipstream ...  26'32" to the finish. 53.336 KPH !! Christian Vandevelde was the first across the line. So he's VERY likely to be the first Maglia Rosawearer in this Giro. But we'll see...

By the way, Slipstream gained a further 12 seconds over Tinkoff in the last 4,000 metres. Their particular build-up to this stage (and the other challenges against the clock) seemingly paid off. Curiously Slipstream didn't check the parcours prior to 0100 PM today. But that wasn't much of a problem to the current race leaders.

1630 CEST - CSF Group Navigare are in the saddle too. The former Panaria are racing with one rider less than all other teams, as Argentina's Max Richeze was excluded from the race after news came that he tested positive at a Circuite de la Sarthe stage a few weeks ago.

1634 CEST - Quick Step, the team of Paolo Bettini but also today's only "home rider" Giovanni Visconti, crossed the finishing line in 27'14". The fourth time to finish thus far.

Astana the late entry led by Levi Leipheimer. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1635 CEST - Astana lost a few more seconds to Slipstream by km. 19. The gap was up to 20 secs. Contador and teammates are taking is (comparatively) easy. The guys are still all together. Less than 1k to go for them now. Astana are on the final straight. They take on the last turn. One more banner advertising a Czech-made car to goooo ... and here they are... Their time was 27'01". They lost 29 seconds to unstoppable Slipstream. But still, they managed to set the second best time, kicking Tinkoff down to stop number three.

1639 CEST - Lampre and FDJ are in the saddle too. And what has been called "CSC's B team" is gonna be soon. The Danish Dynamite (so to speak) are lining up at the start. Here they go. Enjoy the ride, dudes!

1640 CEST - In his first comments in front of the RAI cameras, David Millar admitted that he ran out of gasoline in the last portion of the stage. But he was happy that Vandevelde crossed the line first.

1642 CEST - The Rabo-boys to the line: 27 minutes, 35 seconds. Poor time, poor place (9th). Only Cofidis did worse, and by just two seconds.

1643 CEST - Lampre, led by legendary Marzio Bruseghin, are doing fine instead: they were losing just eight seconds to Slipstream at the first check. The boys in blue and fucsia averaged over 53kph too.

1644 CEST - Seven teams have to take to the start line: AG2R La Mondiale, Barloworld, High Road, Liquigas, Gerolsteiner, Silence-Lotto and Di Luca's Team Lpr .

1645 CEST - AG2R are going now.

1647 CEST - Euskaltel to the line: 27'49". The orange warriors are definitely NOT ITT specialists, they lost a good (BAD, if looking from their perspective) 01'17" to Slipstream.

Francaise des Jeux ~ a hard day at the office last in the first stage.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1649 CEST - And, strange but true, some team managed to do even worse than Cofidis at the first time check. It was another French squad, FDJ, that got such accomplishment.

1650 CEST - Barlworld at the startline. High Road will be next. Again, here are the current Top 5 places at the finish:
1. Slipstream Chipotle - 26'32"
2. Astana at 29"
3. Tinkoff at 33"
4. Quick Step at 42"
5. Milram - at 45"

1652 CEST - WOW! CSC made it to the first check. AND GOT THE BEST TIME!! 11 Minutes 24 seconds. They were faster than Slipstream by 8 seconds (at that point)!  Did we say "B TEAM"? NOOOO WAY - Expect a great battle in the second half of the parcours.

CSF Group-Navigare made it to the finish, but their time was basically as poor as Euskaltel's (more or less).

1655 CEST - Cavendish and High Road are in the saddle. They started their challenge about a minute ago.

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Stage 1 Start Time
15.30 Milram
15.35 Tinkoff
15.40 Cofidis
15.45 Saunier Duval-Scott
15.50 Diquigiovanni-Androni
15.55 Caisse d’Epargne
16.00 Slipstream
16.05 Quick Step
16.10 Astana
16.15 Rabobank
16.20 Euskaltel-Euskadi
16.25 CSF Group-Navigare
16.30 Lampre
16.35 Française des Jeux
16.40 CSC
16.45 AG2R La Mondiale
16.50 Barloworld
16.55 High Road
17.00 Liquigas
17.05 Gerolsteiner
17.10 Silence-Lotto
17.15 Lpr

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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 TTT Start Times
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 TTT Live Coverage Part 2

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