Rabobank won the opening team time trial stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in Marina di Carrara, with Garmin-Cervelo nine seconds back for second place.
Scot David Millar had to watch his Garmin-Cervélo team-mates race on television today due to the flu. He pulled out at the last minute, replaced by David Zabriskie ahead of the opening team time trial in Marina di Carrara, Italy.
“Dave getting sick last night and us having to fly in Zabriskie… He had to get up at five o’clock to fly from Spain,” said Team Manager Jonathan Vaughters.
“The guys did a good effort. They were a little tentative in the first three K, but they were flying in the last five or six K.”
Garmin rode the 16.8-kilometre time trial in a time of 18’17″, nine seconds slower than Dutch team Rabobank. Mark Cavendish’s HTC-Highroad team placed third with a time of 18’18″.
Zabriskie had just finished the Tour of Murcia three days ago. He was part of the six that finished together, Matt Wilson and Brett Lancaster trailed behind in the last two kilometres. Lancaster had a problem with his saddle.
Millar had been tipped for the overall win. Last year, he won a stage of the Critérium International and the overall of the Three Days of De Panne in this period.
“He’ll be back in three-four weeks time at full speed, no problem,” added Vaughters. “Dave’s Dave, at some point this year he’ll hit good form.”
It was Rabobank’s first win in a team time trial in its 15-year history. Dutchman Lars Boom crossed the line first and took the overall lead.
“We are on a winning streak now,” said the team’s classification leader, Robert Gesink.
“Anything can happen between now and Tuesday, there are still six more stages to go.”
Dutchman Gesink won the Tour of Oman last month thanks to winning the time trial stage and the mountain stage.
Team Sky finished ninth today, 33 seconds back.
Tirreno-Adriatico 2011, stage one TTT: Marina di Carrara 16.8km
1. Rabobank in 18-08
2. Garmin-Cervelo at 9 secs
3. HTC-Highroad at 10 secs
4. Saxo Bank-Sungard at 11 secs
5. Liquigas-Cannondale at 22 secs
6. BMC Racing Team at 26 secs
7. Leopard-Trek at 29 secs
8. RadioShack at 30 secs
9. Team Sky at 33 secs
10. Lampre-ISD at 39 secs
11. Omega Pharma-Lotto at 41 secs
12. Acqua & Sapone at 47 secs
13. Movistar at 51 secs
14. Vacansoleil-DCM at 51 secs
15. Astana at 51 secs
16. Katusha at 53 secs
17. Farnese Vini-Neri at 55 secs
18. Ag2r-La Mondiale at 57 secs
19. Quick Step at 1-08
20. Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1-13
Overall classification after stage one
1. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
Tirreno-Adriatico 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index