Orica-GreenEdge wins Giro d'Italia opening team time trial

Alberto Contador best of the Giro d'Italia overall favourites as Simon Gerrans wears the pink jersey of race leader

Orica-GreenEdge on stage one of the 2015 Tour of Italy
(Image credit: Watson)

Orica-GreenEdge once again proved its team time trial credentials, winning the opening stage of the 2015 Giro d'Italia in San Remo on Saturday.

Simon Gerrans was the first Orica rider to cross the line, putting the Australian in the coveted pink jersey of race leader.

Orica-GreenEdge conquered the 17.6-kilometre stage from San Lorenzo al Mare to San Remo with a well-drilled performance. Tinkoff-Saxo finished in second spot at seven seconds, with Astana in third at 13 seconds.

Simon Gerrans after stage one of the 2015 Giro d'Italia

Simon Gerrans after stage one of the 2015 Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Watson)

Despite the narrow nature of the course - a coastal bike path built on the route of a former railway - the stage was run off without incident, unlike last year's opening time trial in Belfast that saw Dan Martin (Garmin) crash out of the race.

>>> Experts back Alberto Contador for Giro d'Italia win

Team Sky put in a decent performance, but not good enough to overhaul the quickest teams and they ended up in ninth place - with Sky leader Richie Porte giving away 20 seconds to Tinkoff-Saxo's Alberto Contador, 14 seconds to Astana's Fabio Aru and eight seconds to Etixx-QuickStep's Rigoberto Uran.

"That was terribly fast," said Porte after the finish. "I think we were good today everyone was pretty smooth and solid, I think we did a good job. The race isn't going to be won today, but I think it's a good way to start the race."

The Cycling Weekly Giro d'Italia contenders preview

Tinkoff-Saxo set the day's fastest time at the 9.9-kilometre intermediate time check, but the squad's early pace looked like it had taken its toll with Contador and Ivan Basso both off the back shortly after. Contador then looked to be having difficulty keeping pace with his team-mates, taking short turns on the front. However, they kept up enough momentum for Contador to finish as the best of the overall contenders, a very solid start to his campaign.

One rider not taking part in the opening time trial was George Bennett, whose LottoNL-Jumbo team withdrew him the night before due to a low cortisol level returned from a UCI pre-race test. Bennett was not replaced in the squad's line-up.

The 2015 Giro d'Italia continues on Sunday with the first open road stage, a 173km trip from Albenga to Genoa, which looks highly likely to end in a bunch sprint.

Giro d'Italia 2015, stage one: San Lorenzo al Mare to San Remo (TTT) 17.6km

1. Orica-GreenEdge in 19-26

2. Tinkoff-Saxo at 7 secs

3. Astana at 13 secs

4. Etixx-QuickStep at 19 secs

5. Movistar at 21 secs

6. IAM Cycling at 25 secs

7. BMC Racing Team at 25 secs

8. FDJ at 26 secs

9. Team Sky at 27 secs

10. Katusha at 27 secs

11. Trek Factory Racing at 29 secs

12. Lotto-Soudal at 31 secs

13. LottoNL-Jumbo at 36 secs

14. Bardiani-CSF at 37 secs

15. CCC Sprandi-Polkowice at 45 secs

16. Ag2r La Mondiale at 48 secs

17. Giant-Alpecin at 49 secs

18. Southeast at 52 secs

19. Cannondale-Garmin at 53 secs

20. Nippo-Vini Fantini at 57 secs

21. Lampre-Merida at 59 secs

22. Androni-Sidermec at 1-03

Overall classification after stage one

1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge in 19-26

2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge

3. Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge

4. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge

5. Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge

6. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge at same time

7. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinnkoff-Saxo at 7 secs

8. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo

9. Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo

10. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at same time

Team Sky on stage one of the 2015 Giro d'Italia

Team Sky: ninth place for the British-based team

Ag2r on stage one of the 2015 Giro d'Italia

Ag2r on stage one of the 2015 Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Watson)

Orica-GreenEdge celebrates winning stage one of the 2015 Giro d'Italia

Orica-GreenEdge celebrates winning stage one of the 2015 Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Watson)

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Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, an exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.