In a team time trial the smallest of details can make the biggest difference, and on a course as short as the Giro's opening stage the difference between the leading teams is likely to be minimal.
So how do you shave off a few hundredths of a second to make the difference between first and fifth, and turn failure in to success? You look at every little detail and do your best to get them right.
American Bobby Jullich joined Team Sky over the winter and in his role of Coach he specialises in time trials, both individual and team time trials. The day before the opening stage of the 2011 Giro d'Italia, Cycling Weekly sat down with him and went through the team's preparation.
Get to know the course
"I came here the day of Milan - San Remo to ride the course. We've done the filming already and reconed the course and we've shown it to the riders. We did that last night, now we're going down before the team presentation and have the riders drive the course on the way to the presentation. Then tomorrow, before the race, they'll be able to ride the course, but just once."
"We could have spent the last two days going down there and fighting the traffic and trying to see the course, but through the recon we realised that it's just not worth the effort with the traffic."
Get the start right
"We've got the preferred rider to do the start which is the most important thing, but there's no way to predict going through the corners. There's no corners that are that dangerous, and they're professional bike racers, they do that every single day."
"Pete Kennaugh is going to start us. This guy has so much class and he's come off the track and has experience building up to speed quickly. The guys behind him are going to have to maintain and then up that speed from there."
"We've got our order down for the start and we may refine that even more after we see the exact start tomorrow afternoon, right before the race."
Keep it smooth
"Probably the worst thing you can do is have a punchy rider on the front. The first guy going in to a turn has full view and he can take it at full speed. It's natural that sixth, seventh, eighth even ninth rider may be on his brakes or maybe a little apprehensive because his field of view is blocked."
"If there's a punchy rider taking it out of that courner the guy in ninth is already off the wheel and 15m behind. If he has to close the gap when he's supposed to be recovering then he's going to be on the limit."
Adapt to the route
"We wont be doing a chain [through the corners], we have what we call a 'single rotation pace line'. It will be one guy on the front and when he's done with his turn he'll pull off and everyone goes past him. We wont have two guys going through a turn at the same time, they will corner in a single file line."
Train specifically for the event
"We started to train for this back in January, how to go through turns, deal with rises or descents in a course, or any sort of thing you can throw at them. We've practised riding with flat tyres or riding back from a crash."
"It takes a lot of those variables out, and when you get down to it it's just what they do every day anyway, riding their bike from point A to point B. Sometimes you have to go round corners, sometimes you have to go up climbs. But now they've got to think not only for themselves but for all the team."
1 Omega Pharma Lotto 15.50hrs
2 Katusha 15.54hrs
3 Astana 15.58hrs
4 Androni Giocattoli - CIPI 16.02hrs
5 Colnago - CSF INOX 16.06hrs
6 Acqua & Sapone 16.10hrs
7 Euskaltel-Euskadi 16.14hrs
8 Rabobank 16.18hrs
9 Team Sky 16.22hrs
10 Geox - TMC 16.26hrs
11 Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli 16.30hrs
12 Saxo Bank 16.34hrs
13 BMC 16.38hrs
14 HTC-Highroad 16.42hrs
15 Garmin-Cervelo 16.46hrs
16 Lampre-ISD 16.50hrs
17 Liquigas-Cannondale 16.54hrs
18 Leopard-Trek 16.58hrs
19 Ag2r La Mondiale 17.02hrs
20 Quick Step 17.06hrs
21 Vacansoleil DCM 17.10hrs
22 RadioShack 17.14hrs
23 Movistar 17.18hrs
Giro d'Italia 2011: Related links
Giro d'Italia 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list
Giro d'Italia 2011: Latest news
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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers.
Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!
Simon is currently riding
Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace
TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars
Gravel bike: N/A
Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel
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