CSC Wins Team Time Trial
CSC has won Stage 5 of the Giro d?Italia.
CSC has won Stage 5 of the Giro d?Italia. The Danish squad, which was expected to battle Discovery Channel for the day?s honors, fought back T-Mobile to win the flat, 38-km team time trial from Piacenza to Cremona in 36:56. T-Mobile finished second at 0:01, and Discovery Channel finished third at 0:39. Sergei Gonchar (T-Mobile) is the new maglia rosa .<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
The first team time trial in the Giro since 1989 was ridden under clear skies and with a slight tailwind. Bouygues Telecom set the early standard with a 38:19, but the standard did not last long and would change frequently during this time trial. Ag2r bettered Bouygues Telecom?s time by 0:01, and Milram soon posted a new best time of 38:09. Davitamon then powered home in 38:05.
Soon, it was the turn of the stronger teams. Credit Agricole bettered Davitamon by 0:01, and Phonak finished in 38:00. Then, Quick Step became the first sub-38:00 squad by posting a 37:59. Liquigas bettered that time by 0:21, but CSC shattered the Italian squad?s mark with its 36:56. Only Discovery Channel and T-Mobile were capable of matching or outdoing CSC.
At the first checkpoint (9.7 km), T-Mobile was 0:08 behind CSC. At Checkpoint No. 2 (16 km), the German squad was second at 0:10, and at Checkpoint No. 3 (22.4 km), T-Mobile was second at 0:15. In the homestretch, the German squad was down to the minimum five men, and when Matthias Kessler lost 0:02 to Sergei Gonchar, Jan Ullrich, Michael Rogers, and Olaf Pollack, the team received his time. T-Mobile?s performance, however, put Sergei Gonchar in the maglia rosa .
Discovery Channel never challenged CSC. The American squad was at 0:24 at the first time check and 0:33 at the second. Its performance, however, was good enough for third, and team captain Paolo Savoldelli is within 0:20 of the maglia rosa .
Gerolsteiner, the last team to start, was never a threat to win. The team would settle for sixth at 1:03. Its hope was that it would place well enough to keep Stefan Schumacher in pink, but the German team could not perform well enough to do so.
In the overall, Gonchar leads Jens Voigt (CSC) and Michael Rogers (T-Mobile) by 0:06. Stage 6 will not change this state of affairs. The flat, 233-km run from Busseto to Forli should end in a sprint. Will someone aside from Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) win this stage? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!