Garmin-Transitions' goal: win Giro time trial and Millar in pink
Garmin-Transitions, Tour of Qatar 2010, stage 1 TTT
Garmin-Transitions previewed the Giro d'Italia's team trial course in Cuneo on Tuesday. Its goal is simple for Wednesday: win the stage and put Scot David Millar in the leader's pink jersey.
The stage is 33 kilometres long and runs past some of Piedmont's vineyards, travelling south from Savigliano to Cuneo. It is a simple route, one that takes on high importance because Millar is only one second behind leader Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana).
"It's not a technical course, so the biggest thing is that there could be rain tomorrow. The way the wind is predicted for tomorrow, it will be a fast day," Garmin director Matt White told Cycling Weekly on Tuesday.
"We were using a long single line [in training]. It got tricky for use to continue once we got into Cuneo because there were a couple of big roundabouts. The fastest way, which is how we will take it tomorrow, will be against traffic."
The American team will not be as fast since it lost Christian Vande Velde in a crash on Monday, the Giro d'Italia's third and final day in the Netherlands. However, the outfit continued on to Italy with a strong team.
"We are relying on our time trial specialists: David, Svein [Tuft], Cameron [Meyer] and Jack [Bobridge].
"Dave is within striking distance [of the lead]. There is a possibility for him, but also for a few other teams. I think for the win, Sky is the favourite. I think for the jersey the race will be quite close: Liquigas has a strong team, Saxo Bank has a couple of good time trialists and Columbia has a pretty handy team."
Liquigas-Doimo will ride to put Vincenzo Nibali in the pink jersey. The Italian is only five seconds behind Vinokourov and four behind Millar. White knows that his team has a good chance for success, but that the ride can unravel at any moment.
"The most important thing is to consider myself as the ninth guy or 10th guy. I will use a lot of little things and information, and rely it to the guys," White continued.
"Some directors are very vocal over the radios and some don't say anything, I am more vocal than the directors I have been involved with. In my days, Johan [Bruyneel] used the radio a lot, but some of my other directors got carried away and made me nervous.
"Anything can happen, I remember last year at the Tour de France when we had five guys left after 15 kilometres. That was a tense moment, I knew if we lost another rider then Tour de France would be over for us. Tomorrow won't be so stressful though, I hope."
Garmin will start its ride as the 16th of 22 teams, leaving Savigliano at 16:05. Bradley Wiggins' Sky starts 15 minutes earlier, at 15:50. Liquigas starts at 16:20, HTC-Columbia at 16:25, Saxo Bank at 16:30 and Vinokourov's Astana, the final team, at 16:35.
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