Giro d'Italia - Nibali in pink as Liquigas win TT

Eurosport - Wed, 12 May 16:25:00 2010

Vincenzo Nibali took the leader's pink jersey in the Giro d'Italia as his Liquigas-Doimo squad won the team time trial in Piedmont.

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The Italian squad completed the 32.5km course from Savigliano to Cuneo in 36 minutes and 37 seconds, 13 seconds quicker than Bradley Wiggins's Team Sky outfit.

Overnight leader Alexander Vinokourov could only drive his Astana team to fifth place, 38 seconds behind the Liquigas team that also features 2006 champion Ivan Basso, and drops to seventh overall.

Nibali, who was a late inclusion in the race after the exclusion of Franco Pellizotti, is 13 seconds ahead of his team leader Basso on GC with Valerio Agnoli completing an all Liquigas-Doimo top three.

"I wasn't even meant to take part in this Giro but just you now try taking this pink jersey off me," Nibali said.

"The Giro wasn't in my plans but I definitely won't let the pink jersey go without spending every last drop of energy."

It was the fourth consecutive year that the Giro has featured a team time trial - Liquigas also won in 2007 when the race began on the island of Sardinia.

Team Sky were quickest at the 17.9km intermediate time check but were unable to maintain that pace over the closing stages with the minimum number of five riders - Wiggins, Greg Henderson, Steve Cummings, Dario Cioni and Michael Barry - crossing the line together to post a time.

Wiggins, who led after the first day's time trial through Amsterdam, had already lost more than four minutes on GC after being badly hampered by crashes on stages two and three in the Netherlands.

David Millar's bid to make British cycling history by becoming the first Briton to lead all three Grand Tours failed as his Garmin-Transitions squad finished eighth.

Millar, who started the day just one second behind Vinokourov, is now eighth at 45 seconds.

Andre Greipel and Matthew Goss move into the top five after Columbia-HTC finished third, 21 seconds adrift, while Russia's Vladimir Karpets is now seventh on GC after his Katusha squad came home just six seconds slower in fourth.

Carlos Sastre's Cervelo squad finished in 37:15, good enough for sixth, and the 2008 Tour de France champion reduced 43 seconds of his 57-second deficit on pre-race favourite and world champion Cadel Evans whose BMC team finished 12th, more than a minute behind the winning time.

Australian Evans, who handed the pink jersey to Vinokourov on Monday after being held up in a crash, now finds himself one minute and 59 seconds off the race lead.

Result: 1. Liquigas 36:37 (Basso, Nibali); 2. Sky 36:50 (Wiggins); 3. Columbia-HTC 36:58; 4. Katusha 37:04 (Karpets); 5. Astana 37:15 (Vinokourov); 6. Cervélo 37:15 (Sastre); 7. Lotto 37:23; 8. Garmin 37:26 (Millar); 9. Saxo Bank 37:27 (Porte); 10. Milram 37:34 (Gerdemann); 11. Rabobank 37:41; 12. BMC 37:58 (Evans); 13. Lampre 38:20 (Cunego); 14. Footon 38:40; 15. Colnago 38:45 (Pozzovivo); 16. Quick Step 38:51; 17. Bouygues 38:55; 18. Caisse d'Epargne 38:58 (Bruseghin); 19. Androni 39:01 (Scarponi); 20. Cofidis 39:06; 21. Acqua e Sapone 39:16 (Garzelli); 22. AG2R 39:27

GC: 1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo; 2. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo @ 13 seconds; 3. Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo @ 20 secs; 4. Andre Greipel (Ger) Columbia-HTC @ 26 secs; 5. Matthew Goss (Aus) Columbia-HTC @ 26 secs; 6. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana @ 33 secs; 7. Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Katusha @ 39 secs; 8. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Transitions @ 45 secs

Giro - Stage 5: Wednesday 1.30pm LIVE on British Eurosport 2 (Sky 411 / Virgin 525) & on the Eurosport Player.

Lee Walker / Eurosport

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