Christian Vandevelde Giro stage 1 2008 team time trial
(Image credit: GRAHAM WATSON)

Slipstream won the opening team time trial at the Giro d?Italia on Saturday, with Christian Vande Velde crossing the line first and taking the first maglia rosa of the 2008 'corsa rosa'.

Slipstream blasted round the technical but slippery 23.6km course, stopping the clock with a time of 26-32.

Team CSC was second, six seconds back, with High Road an impressive third at seven seconds. Liquigas was fourth at nine seconds with Team Barloworld an excellent fifth at 14 seconds thanks to some huge efforts by Steve Cummings and Geraint Thomas.

31 year-old Vande Velde is the first American to wear the pink jersey since Andy Hampsten won the Giro in 1988.

?For me this is like a lifetime achievement award,? Vande Velde said.

?I?ll put a picture of me in the pink jersey on the wall and one day tell my grandchildren about it. It?s an amazing achievement and is the highlight of my career so far.?

?We came here with one and one only objective and that was to win today. That we won it is pretty unreal because Slipstream is still only a small team and we?re still getting things together. We?re over the moon to have won.?

Vande Velde was not afraid to say his win was a sign that clean teams can win major races.

?I think our win is a great sign of a new cycling,? he said.

?CSC and High Road were second and third in the team time trial and along with Astana, we have the biggest internal anti-doping programmes in the sport. That shows that clean teams are winning now. Without a doubt a clean team won today.?

Britain's David Millar gave his all during the time trial and eased off after a huge effort in the final kilometres. He crossed the line a few seconds behind his team mates but was over the moon to have won.

?This is mission accomplished. We?ve worked really hard for this in the last week and it?s great to pull it off. I?m really happy for Christian and it?s great for the team.?

?Whatever happens now is cherries and icing?.? On an already very big cake.

Vande Velde will wear the race leader?s pink jersey during Sunday?s 207km second stage of the three-week race, from Cefalu to Agrigento.


1. Slipstream-Chipotle 23.6km in 26min 32secs

2. CSC at 6secs

3. High Road at 7secs

4. Liquigas at 9secs

5. Barloworld at 14secs

6. LPR Brakes-Ballan at 28secs

7. Astana at 29secs

8. Tinkoff at 33secs

9. Quick Step at 42secs

10. Lampre at 45secs

11. Milram at 45secs

12. S. Diquigiovanni-Androni G. at 51secs

13. Gerolsteiner at 54secs

14. Caisse D'Epargne at 54secs

15. Saunier Duval-Scott at 1min 2secs

16. Rabobank at 1min 4secs

17. Ag2r at 1min 5secs

18. Cofidis at 1min 5secs

19. CSF Group-Navigare at 1min 15secs

20. Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1min 1secs

21. Silence-Lotto at 1min 18 secs

22. Francaise des Jeux at 1min 26secs


1. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream in 26min 32secs

2. David Zabriskie (USA) Slipstream

3. Ryder Hesjdal (Can) Slipstream

4. Julian Dean (NZl) Slipstream

5. Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Slipstream all same time

6. Michael Blaudzun (Den) CSC at 6secs

7. Nicki Sorensen (Den) CSC

8. Bradley McGee (Aus) CSC

9. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) CSC

10. Jason McCartney (USA) CSC all same time

Team Slipstream

Team Slipstream were very well drilled in the opening team time trial, and came away with top honours as reward

Team Slipstream

Christian Vande Velde crossed the line first for the team, and gets to wear the coveted Giro leader's jersey

Team Slipstream


Team Slipstream

David Millar's bike gets the Union Jack treatment

All photos by Graham Watson


Stage two: Ricco wins Giro d'Italia second stage

Stage one TTT: Slipstream wins Giro team time trial


Millar celebrates Slipstream Giro d'Italia success

Bettini looking for final Giro glory

Astana's troubled build-up to the Giro

Petacchi banned for Salbutamol positive

Yates and Astana make last minute rush to Giro


Giro d'Italia 2008: Photo gallery. New photos added daily


Giro Britannia: how the Brits are doing in Italy

Giro d'Italia 2008 preview

Giro d'Italia 2008: who will win?

Giro d'Italia 2008: The British are coming

Giro d'Italia on Eurosport: TV schedule

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