BMC tops Mitchelton-Scott by four seconds in the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, putting Damiano Caruso into the race lead.

BMC Racing won the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday, setting the fastest mark in the 21.5-kilometer team time trial.

The American WorldTour squad finished the course in 22:19, good enough to best Mitchelton-Scott by four seconds. Team Sky took third on the day, 10 seconds back.

Damiano Caruso led BMC across the line, earning the right to wear the race leader’s jersey headed into Thursday’s stage 2.

“There is always a lot of satisfaction for us to win here. This was our first goal of the race, and we did a lot of work to be ready for it so, we are happy,” said Caruso. BMC’s win is the team’s the third TTT victory at Tirreno-Adriatico in three years.

Stage 1, top 10

Top-10 overall

Movistar was the first team to hit the road for the mostly flat trek along Italy’s Tyrrhenian coast. Sky rolled down the start ramp next and set the early benchmark time, which stood as the day’s best until Mitchelton-Scott came home six seconds faster.

The Australian outfit, always a threat in the team time trials, did not hold the hot seat for long, however, as BMC outgunned them by four seconds to seal the deal. Caruso, a native of Sicily, led the team across the line to take the race lead, with teammates Rohan Dennis, Patrick Bevin, and Greg Van Avermaet on the same time.

“The weather was good and the roads too,” Caruso said. “The parcours is really fast, but we have the right guys to be able to ride fast. The teamwork was excellent. The whole team, staff and riders, were amazing. All of BMC Racing Team worked really hard.

“I think it was hard for every team today, but we kept pushing to the finish. We went à bloc, and we are happy. I am not sure if there was less wind for us in the final, but for sure, we had a strong group of riders.”

Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish, in his first race back since crashing out of the Abu Dhabi Tour, was the victim of a crash and subsequent time cut. The Manxman hit the deck hard, suffering abrasions to his face, and was taken to a nearby clinic.

Stage 1 results

General classification