Pre-race favorite Garmin-Barracuda made good on most experts’ predictions, winning today’s stage 4 team time trial at the Giro d’Italia. They covered the 33.2km in 37:04 and stripped Taylor Phinney of his pink jersey.
A surprising Katusha finished in second on the day, in 37:09, with Astana in third, 22 seconds back.
The new race leader is Garmin’s Ramunas Navardauskas, now 13 seconds ahead of Phinney who dropped to fifth place overall.
The team now holds the top four positions on GC with Tyler Farrar in second overall now, 10 seconds back, and their top man for GC, Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, now in fourth place only 11 seconds out of pink. Sprinter Robbie Hunter sits in third.
Farrar was thrilled at the day’s outcome, and is looking forward to the next couple weeks.
“Having Ramunas in the pink jersey is perfect. No one deserves it more than him. I am so happy for him I am almost crying,” said Farrar. “He’s always working so hard for everyone else. He’s a great teammate. I hope we can keep it for a few more days and maybe pass it on to someone like Christian or Ryder.”
Phinney’s BMC squad finished 31 seconds down on Garmin. They would have probably fared better, but in Phinney’s third mishap in the last three stages, he veered off the road into some weeds before the second time check. He managed to stay on the bike, but it cost the team valuable seconds.
It was also a great result for Katusha team leader Joaquím Rodriguez, who is not a particularly strong time trialist, but has his sights firmly set on the GC. He now sits in 10th overall, 30 seconds back. His team had the time to beat much of the day, starting ninth, but Garmin-Barracuda finally eclipsed it as the next to last team on the road.