Cycling - Cav takes leader's jersey as Omega Pharma-Quickstep win Tirreno TTT

Mark Cavendish took the leaders' jersey after the opening stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico as his Omega Pharma-Quickstep team won the opening team time trial.

Cycling - Cav takes leader's jersey as Omega Pharma-Quickstep win Tirreno TTT

View photo

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)

The British sprinter led his side over the line in a time of 20:13 after the 18.5km trek from Donoratico to San Vincenzo.

That saw them win the stage by 11 seconds from Orica Greenedge and the win had double significance as not only will Cavendish have a great chance of hanging onto the blue jersey for the next two largely flat stages, but the time gained will be crucial for team leader Michal Kwiatkowski who is one of the big favourites from the race.

"I'm thankful for my teammates, they gave their all," Kwiatkowski said.

"Before Tirreno, I said we cannot win the race here, but we can lose some seconds. We gained some seconds before the mountain stages, which is important for the GC. I'm really happy. We want to enjoy it."

Among the other GC contenders whose teams limited the damage were: Movistar's Nairo Quintana (18 seconds back), Tinkoff-Saxo's Alberto Contador (24 seconds back), Cannondale's Ivan Basso (26 seconds back) and Team Sky's Richie Porte (27 seconds back).

However, winning the race already looks a tough ask for former winner Cadel Evans and Vuelta champion Chris Horner. Evans' BMC team were 47 seconds off the pace with Horner's Lampre-Merida having 53 seconds to make up.

Results from Tirreno - Adriatico (Donoratico - San Vincenzo, 18.5 km) on Wednesday

1. Omega Pharma - Quick-Step 20:13"

2. Orica +11"

3. Movistar +18"

4. Tinkoff - Saxo +24"

5. Cannondale +26"

6. Team Sky +27"

7. Lotto +28"

8. Trek +36"

9. Belkin +37"

10. +43"

11. BMC Racing +47"

12. IAM Cycling +50"

13. Lampre +53"

14. AG2R

15. NetApp

16. Astana +54"

17. Giant +55"

18. Garmin +1:04"

19. Katusha +1:06"

20. Bardiani Valvole +1:17"

21. Team MTN +1:19"

22. Europcar +1:31"

View comments (2)