Giro d'Italia - Phinney in pink after expert ITT win

Sat, 05 May 18:34:00 2012

American Taylor Phinney of BMC Racing won the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia, an 8.7km time trial in the Danish town of Herning.

2012 Giro d'Italia Taylor Phinney - 0

The 21-year-old time trial specialist set a blistering time of 10:26 over a flat but technical course to beat Britain’s Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Denmark's Alex Rasmussen (Garmin-Barracuda).

Welshman Thomas finished nine seconds slower than Phinney, with Rasmussen a further four seconds in arrears.

Reigning champion Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), the last of 198 riders down the start ramp, came home in lowly 135th place - over a minute down on stage winner Phinney, and 27 seconds slower than his GC rival Ivan Basso (Liquigas).

Of the other race favourites, Canada's Ryder Hesjedal fared best with a time of 10:55, 29 seconds slower than Phinney. Roman Kreuziger (Astana) came home in 11:02 three seconds ahead of Basso, with Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) another four seconds off the pace.

Frank Schleck (RadioShack Nissan) set a time of 11:25, a surprise seven seconds quicker than Scarponi and four seconds faster than the Italian's Lampre team-mate Damiano Cunego. Frenchman John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) finished in 162nd place, 10 seconds slower than Scarponi.

Lithuanian rider Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda) led the time trial for a long time after setting an early landmark effort in sunny but chilly north Denmark.

Giro d'Italia†: Stage 1

The lead then changed hands three times in quick succession, with first Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank) toppling Navardauskas before Thomas bettered the Italian.

Thomas, who won the prologue of the Tour of Romandie a fortnight ago, assumed the lead for just minutes before Phinney shaved nine seconds off the Welshman's time.

Phinney, son of former professional racing cyclist Davis Phinney and former Olympic gold medal cyclist and speed skater Connie Carpenter-Phinney, takes the first maglia rosa of the 2012 Giro, the 95th edition of the race.

The victory is the first in a Grand Tour for Phinney, who at 21 years and 313 days becomes the youngest rider since the late Laurent Fignon to wear the pink jersey in the Giro.

The Giro continues on Sunday with the second of three stages taking place in Denmark: a 206km largely flat ride to and from Herning.

Felix Lowe / Eurosport

Comment 1 - 4 of 4

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  1. He's won the junior Paris-Roubaix. He resembles­ Spartacus: winning prologues early and becoming a­ classics threat as he matures.

    From Maxx92, on Mon 7 May 2:29
  2. True dat RayH..isn't it great to see natural talent­ demonstrated as opposed to average talent enhanced...I­ love this sport!! it's like the 80's again!!

    From Elisabeth, on Sun 6 May 15:28
  3. Well done G, bring on Cav tomorrow for the sprint-go­ Sky guys!

    From , on Sat 5 May 20:11
  4. With a father like Davis (several time winner of stages­ of grand tours) and a mother like Connie (first Olympic­ road race gold medalist) it is not surprising.

    From Shaqasorus, on Sat 5 May 18:52
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