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Pro Continental squad Bora-Argon 18 stunned WorldTour heavies at the opening stage of Giro del Trentino, winning the stage 1 team time trial in Arco, Italy on Tuesday.
The Bora team eked out the win, coming ahead of Team Sky by .3 seconds, averaging 56.663kph over the flat, 13.3km course. Astana finished third, four seconds adrift of the top-two teams.
“It was a perfect race and it was crowned by the victory,” said Bora-Argon 18 sport director Enrico Poitschke in a team statement. “We felt already, beforehand, that the guys are absolutely determined to score a top result. They were all totally focused when we scouted the course this morning as well as during the warm-up. In the end, it was tight, but [we] won. This was a victory by the entire team, including our mechanics and physios. We all fought together to get this result.”
Thanks to his team’s efforts, Bora’s Cesare Benedetti is the first overall leader in the hilly, four-day race. The 27-year-old Italian will wear the leader’s jersey tomorrow as the race continues with a 168km stage from Dro to Brentonico. Wednesday’s race will offer three categorized climbs, and the last of the trio, a category-two, will serve up a summit finish in the Parco del Baldo.
“A dream comes true for Cesare,” Poitschke continued. “This is his home race, and he is in the lead now. He felt really strong today, and in the end he had the will to cross the line first. That says a lot about his motivation.”