Orica-GreenEdge lived out a dream scenario today by winning the Tour de France’s team time trial in Nice and putting yesterday’s stage winner, Simon Gerrans in the race leaders’ yellow jersey.
“It was a dream; I would’ve never have imagined it to happen,” Gerrans said in television. “It was a dream for me, a dream for the team. I’m feeling so much emotion.”
Gerrans won the stage yesterday, just pipping Peter Sagan (Cannondale) at the line in Corsica. The win put the team in the right spirits and gave it the right time to take the yellow jersey today.
The Australian sat with 71 others, trailing overnight leader Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Leopard) by one second.
He and his team gained that second and more on Bakelants’ yellow jersey. Gerrans now is in charge with team-mates Daryl Impey and Michael Albasini in second and third overall at the same time.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep blazed through the 25-kilometre course around Nice today and posted 25-57 minutes. Sky challenged Cavendish’s team, but fell three seconds short.
Orica, though, came though, to top them both. It went one second faster than Omega Pharma and spoiled Michal Kwiatkowski’s hopes of wearing yellow.
“We didn’t celebrate until RadioShack came in, but when we finished, with our time checks, it looked good,” Gerrans added.
“There wasn’t one particular point where we won the stage, but it was just a team effort over the whole course. A win by only one second… Yesterday was really close too, but maybe today was even closer.
“Yesterday, I won off the back of a great work and again today it was perfect work. It’s a huge satisfaction.”
Gerrans adds his name to five Australians – Phil Anderson, Stuart O’Grady, Brad McGree, Robbie McEwen and Cadel Evans – who have worn the yellow jersey.
“All those names, it’s hard to imagine, they’re really legends of Australian cycling so to be mentioned with them is amazing,” he added.
“I want to keep the yellow jersey as long as possible, it’s such a dream.”
Gerrans’ team-mate Impey could perhaps take the top on the stage to Montpellier tomorrow. Either way, Orica stands to keep it in house for the next three days, through the seventh stage to Albi on Friday.