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"Sincerely, after seeing how the other teams performed, the kind of route we had for today and looking at our previous performances, we thought winning was possible. We rolled down the ramp with confidence to do so and we were really c...

Photo: Sirotti






05.05.2013 @ 20:52 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Movistar continued their upward trajectory in the team trial discipline with another impressive 2nd place in today's very technical stage of the Giro d'Italia. Despite not being mentioned as one of the pre-race favourites they challenged Team Sky for the win and due to the nature of the course the team even thought that they had a realistic shot at the win.


Movistar have impressed in recent team time trials with a win in the Vuelta a Espana, 2nd in the Tirreno-Adriatico and 6th at the world championships. Today they once again confirmed their potential in the discipline as they took a very strong 2nd place only 9 seconds behind winners Team Sky in the 2nd stage of the Giro d'Italia.


With a team made up of strong climbers and a allrounders the extremely technical and hilly nature of the course gave the team hope that they could perform well. Unable to preview the course in advance due to its location on the island of Ischia, the team even thought that they could take the stage win when they did a reconnaissance ride in the morning.


 "Sincerely, after seeing how the other teams performed, the kind of route we had for today and looking at our previous performances, we thought winning was possible," general manager Eusebio Unzue said." We rolled down the ramp with confidence to do so and we were really close."


However, the team had had its share of bad luck in the lead-up to the race as Juan Jose Cobo hit his knee on the handlebars during the warm-up and suffered from a deep wound. Furthermore, the Spaniard - one of the team's GC riders alongside Benat Intxausti - punctured just after the start and Unzue believed that the loss of one of their key riders was one of the reasons for their narrow loss.


"It's sad, because things were going well but we paid off after Cobo couldn't be there, in such a finale and on a route that suited him perfectly," he said. "We had to slow down a bit in the final climb because we needed five men together, and we might have lost the TT there. But despite being a little bit sad due to the short margin and because we knew the pink jersey came with the stage victory, it's a day to be proud of. You don't celebrate after a 2nd place, but this is one that makes us really happy. It confirms that we're on top of the speciality, and the last results give us extra morale for a competition that requires maximum performance to contest the victories."


With two stage victories in both the 2011 and 2012 editions of the race, the team's main goal is to continue their winning streak in the Italian grand tour. Today's result is a confidence boost as the team set out to achieve their goal - and maybe even take the maglia rosa in the near future.


"We're strong on a psychological side right now and we're ready to fight for the first goal we came for, the stage victory, though we're also close to the 'maglia rosa', and should the race offer us a chance, we'll try to profit," Unzue explained.


One of the riders in a position to strike is KOM leader Giovanni Visconti who is now 9th overall 9 second behind leader Salvatore Puccio (Sky). The former Italian champion is ready to strike if the opportunity presents itself in one of the lumpy stages on Monday and Tuesday.


"We knew we were within the favourites and ready to do well," he said." It was a hard TT, perfect for our characteristics. We're a bit furious after coming so close to the 'maglia rosa' following that top time in the intermediate, but the real gaps between riders from the same team come to the fore in the second part of every team time trial, and we lost a bit there. However, we must stay happy because we did a great race and we were second only to such a team as Sky. We're now up-front in the overall and there are two days coming up with difficult finishes where there's a slight hope of fighting for the pink jersey. We'll see how this race develops."


You can follow all the action from the third stage on



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