Giro d'Italia (st. 2)
Movistar Team confirms their place within the best TTT squads in the world in the second day of the Giro – only beaten (9 seconds) by Sky on a technical parcours in Ischia
PICTURES | Giro d’Italia gallery
An extraordinary performance from Movistar Team put them in 2nd place of stage two in the 2013 Giro d’Italia, a 17.4-kilometer team time trial in the Isola d’Ischia where the telephone squad confirmed their quality after several great outings in this speciality -winners in the 2012 Vuelta, 6th in the TTT Worlds, 2nd in last March’s Tirreno-Adriatico-. Eusebio Unzué’s squad, directed on Italian soil by José Luis Arrieta and Chente García Acosta, made a magnificent effort to finish just nine seconds slower than the winners, British team Sky. The Spanish team was fastest through the intermediate point with two seconds of advantage and kept the pace superbly in the second part of the route, with five riders coming together to the finish: Intxausti, Capecchi, Dowsett, José Herrada and ‘maglia azzurra’ Giovanni Visconti.
The negative sidenote came from Juanjo Cobo, who suffered a serious blow in his knee during the route inspection after accidentally hitting the handlebars. The Spaniard had a deep wound in a specially sensitive zone in his rotula, and despite ice being put on the injury, a puncture in the start zone made him lose sight of his team-mates, still keeping a decent pace to arrive at the finish just two and a half minutes after the Blue train. Movistar Team’s top guns are now in a privileged position in the overall -with Intxausti in 6th-, as Salvatore Puccio (Sky) takes over the ‘maglia rosa’ prior to a difficult stage three on Monday: 222 kilometers between Sorrento and Marina di Ascea, with the Cat. 3 climb of Sella di Catona -20k from the finish- before a tricky descent in the finale.
Eusebio Unzué: “Sincerely, after seeing how the other teams performed, the kind of route we had for today and looking at our previous performances, we thought winning was possible. We rolled down the ramp with confidence to do so and we were really close. It’s sad, because things were going well but we paid off after Cobo couldn’t be there, in such a finale and on a route that suited him perfectly. We had to slow down a bit in the final climb because we needed five men together, and we might have lost the TT there. But despite being a little bit sad due to the short margin and because we knew the pink jersey came with the stage victory, it’s a day to be proud of. You don’t celebrate after a 2nd place, but this is one that makes us really happy. It confirms that we’re on top of the speciality, and the last results give us extra morale for a competition that requires maximum performance to contest the victories. We’re strong on a psychological side right now and we’re ready to fight for the first goal we came for, the stage victory, though we’re also close to the ‘maglia rosa’, and should the race offer us a chance, we’ll try to profit.”
Giovanni Visconti, KOM leader: “We knew we were within the favourites and ready to do well. It was a hard TT, perfect for our characteristics. We’re a bit furious after coming so close to the ‘maglia rosa’ following that top time in the intermediate, but the real gaps between riders from the same team come to the fore in the second part of every team time trial, and we lost a bit there. However, we must stay happy because we did a great race and we were second only to such a team as Sky. We’re now up-front in the overall and there are two days coming up with difficult finishes where there’s a slight hope of fighting for the pink jersey. We’ll see how this race develops.”