Team Garmin-Cervelo Blasts to Team Time Trial Victory in Tour de France 2011
Team Garmin-Cervelo blasts to team time trial victory in Tour de France 2011; Norwegian God of Thunder Thor Hushovd takes yellow jersey and overall Tour de France lead.
Thor Hushovd of Norway captured the overall lead in the Tour de France 2011 earlier this afternoon after the Garmin-Cervelo team won the team time trial in the second stage of the race.
Hushovd took the yellow jersey from Philippe Gilbert of Belgium, the winner of Saturday's opening stage, as defending champion Alberto Contador lost more time to his main rivals.
World champion Hushovd seized the coveted yellow shirt for the third time of his career ahead of his teammate David Millar, with whom he shares the same time in the overall standings. Cadel Evans of Australia stands third, just one second behind.
The Garmin-Cervelo team finished in 24 minutes, 48 seconds around the 23-kilometer (14.3-mile) flat stage in Les Essarts in the Vendee region of western France, at an average speed of 55.645 kilometers per hour.
It was Garmin-Cervelo's first stage win on the Tour after the American-registered outfit finished second in the 2009 team time trial.
The Garmin-Cervelo team, one of the most powerful in the race against the clock, looked well drilled from the start and produced an impressive display to win a very close contest as five teams finished within five seconds.
"This is an extraordinary dream, I'm very proud, I'm very happy to take the jersey and that the team won the stage," Hushovd said after crossing the finish line in front. "This is a great day, we did a really good team effort, everything worked perfectly."
Garmin riders celebrated their win by lifting their manager Jonathan Vaughters on their shoulders at the podium ceremony.
"It was really hard work," Millar said after the stage and continued "We did the best we could. We didn't hide it was a main goal for us and we worked hard for this. We know each other well, it's a big advantage. I was constantly above my limits, as were my teammates."
Vaughters and Hushovd were part of the Credit Agricole team which won the 2001 Tour team time trial.
"I would love to keep this jersey on my shoulders for as long as possible," Hushovd said. "I know it will be hard in stage four when we go up to Mur de Bretagne. If a rider like Cadel Evans is attacking me, it will be hard to stay on his wheel."
Vaughters, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, has developed a strong time trial culture within his team.
"They didn't make any mistakes," Vaughters said and added "They did everything perfectly. I knew we were going to go fast."
On the short and mainly flat course, Contador's Saxo-Bank team posted a time of 25:16. The three-time Tour champion had already lost more than one minute to his rivals during the first stage after being slowed down by a crash and now stands 75th, 1:42 behind Hushovd.
Former pro cyclist and French idol Laurent Jalabert, who now works as commentator and analyst for French national television concludes that Alberto Contador is definitely the big loser of the day. no matter how much Saxo Bank-SunGard team owner Bjarne Riis and Contador himself