GreenEdge blasted RadioShack’s time in the opening team time trial of Tirreno-Adriatico and took its first European win on Wednesday in Donoratico, Italy.

“We said right from the start that Tirreno-Adriatico was one of the team’s first big goals and one of my first big goals,” Goss explained. “It was our first team time trial together, the first time for a lot of guys to race together. We did incredible.” 

Australian Matt Goss led the team over the line in 18-41 minutes and took the leader’s blue jersey. Last year’s Milan-San Remo winner will lead the team tomorrow in stage two, the first of two sprint stages.

David Millar and Garmin-Barracuda posted the first sub-19-minute time on the 16.9 kilometre course. Fabian Cancellara and his RadioShack-Nissan team-mates edged Garmin out of the hot spot by one second.

GreenEdge, however, blasted ahead of Garmin and RadioShack by 17 seconds.

“It shows,” Cancellara told Cycling Weekly, “it’s not an individual effort, but a team effort.”

“We were surprised by that gap. When you are riding it almost feels like you are not going fast enough,” added Goss. “I still didn’t expect 17 seconds. I was quiet shocked.” 

Sky pushed Garmin to the edge today. Jeremy Hunt worked early and sat up, leaving the effort to Mark Cavendish, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Mat Hayman and Bernard Eisel.

“We can’t complain, no one messed up,” Sky race coach Rod Ellingworth said. “We knew that Garmin was going to put in a fast time.”

Millar worked hard on the climb near the tail-end of the course, up into the hills above Donoratico in Castagneto Carducci. He drifted back with five kilometres to race.

“I had in my mind that five kilometres to go marker,” Millar said, “That was my aim, the point I’d switch off.”

In the stage tomorrow to Arezzo, Millar will work for team sprinter Tyler Farrar in the sprint. Tirreno-Adriatico travels east, towards the Adriatic Sea, where it finishes on Tuesday.

Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) have time to recuperate in the coming week, their teams lost nearly a minute today. 

Result

Tirreno-Adriatico 2012, stage one: San Vincenzo to Donoratico, 16.9km TTT

1. GreenEdge in 18-41


2. RadioShack-Nissan at 17 secs

3. Garmin-Barracuda at 17 secs

4. Sky at 23 secs

5. Astana at 30 secs

6. Saxo Bank at 38 secs

7. Acqua & Sapone at 39 secs

8. Katusha at 40 secs

9. Ag2r La Mondiale at 43 secs

10. Lotto-Belisol at 44 secs

Overall classification after stage one

1. Matt Goss (Aus) GreenEdge in 18-41

2. Svein Tuft (Can) GreenEdge

3. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) GreenEdge

4. Stuart O’Grady (Aus) GreenEdge

5. Cameron Meyer (Aus) GreenEdge

6. Baden Cooke (Aus) GreenEdge at same time

7. Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan at 17 secs

8. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan

9. Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan

10. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan at same time

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