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British squad live up to the expectations and takes a convincing team time trial victory while 19-year old Josef Cerny takes the overall lead

Photo: Sirotti

AG2R CITROEN TEAM

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CCC DEVELOPMENT TEAM

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JOSEF CERNY

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MAXIME BOUET

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TEAM SKY

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TOUR OF THE ALPS

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16.04.2013 @ 17:06 Posted by Malte Philbert Jessen

The Sky team of Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins did what everyone expected and took a convincing victory in today's second half-stage of the Giro del Trentino, a 14,1km team time trial. 19-year old Josef Cerny is a surprising new overall leader after he was part of the day's early break.

 

It was no surprise to see Team Sky crush the opposition in today's short 14,1km team time trial around the Austrian city of Lienz but most people would have expected one of the team's rider to also take over the lead. Due to their failure this morning where an 8-rider break managed to arrive at the finish of the first half-stage on the opening day with an advantage of 6.57 over the peloton, it was, however, a totally unexpected rider who emerged as the new overall leader of the race.

 

19-year old Josef Cerny (CCC) is in his first year as a professional and has until now failed to finish a race this season. Nonetheless, his presence in the day's early break - and his ability to stay with the likes of Maxime Bouet (Ag2r) and Michael Rodriguez (Colombia) on the Inselberg climb - has now thrown him into the spotlight in one of the biggest stage races outside the WorldTour calendar.

 

His CCC Polsat team did a modest team time trial and lost 52 seconds to Sky as they ended up 12th. Nonetheless, the Ag2r team of Bouet and the Colombia team of Rodriguez  were 15th and 16th respectively, and this meant that it was Cerny who took the lead away from Bouet.

 

The major favourites from Sky were the second team down the ramp and their time of 15.20 was always expected to be the time to beat. Lampre-Merida and Astana were only 3 and 5 seconds behind the British team at the intermediate check after 9km but in the end their times of 15.36 and 15.33 were only good enough for 3rd and 2nd. Team NetApp-Endura was 4th and Europcar 5th.

 

This means that Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi managed to limit their losses to Bradley Wiggins to 13 and 16 seconds respectively but instead of fighting each other, the pre-race favourites may make some kind of alliance in the upcoming mountain stages. Rodriguez and Bouet are both well-known climbers while nobody really knows what Cerny is capable of. There is no doubt that the favourites face a massive challenge if they are to bring back the huge time loss from the morning's stage.

 

They get their first chance tomorrow in a mammoth 224,8km stage in the mountains which finishes atop the Vetriolo Terme mountain. Starting at 13.15, you can follow all the action live on CyclingQuotes.com/live.

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