Cycling - Wiggins captures first win of the year

Bradley Wiggins recorded his first victory since last summer's Olympics as Team Sky won the team time trial at the Giro del Trentino.

Tour de France champion Wiggins, Dario Cataldo, Joe Dombrowski, Peter Kennaugh, Christian Knees, Danny Pate, Kanstantsin Siutsou and Xabier Zandio finished the 14.1km course in Lienz in a time of 15:20.

That was 13 seconds quicker than Astana with Lampre three seconds further back in third.

Josef Cerny of CCC Polsat took the overall race lead from Tuesday morning's stage one winner Maxime Bouet.

"Today was a really nice result for the team," said Team Sky's Kanstantsin Siutsou.

"There was no stress. We felt good before the start and we knew what we needed to do. For preparation ahead of the Giro it is important...

"We’ve just got back from Tenerife so we will see how we get on in the mountains. The form is coming and I think it will continue to improve here in Trentino and then obviously we need to be ready at the Giro to help Bradley (Wiggins).

“The most important thing here is that we work together well as a team. Making sure every element of the team is looked at like we did today in the team time trial. Tomorrow it is on to the climbs and that will help us to see how we work in and around the big teams and the guys like Nibali, (Ivan) Basso and (Cadel) Evans.”

The 37th edition of the race sees Wiggins face Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Cadel Evans (BMC), Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale), Ivan Basso (Cannondale), Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) and Stefano Garzelli (Vini Fantini) as most of the favourites for next month's Giro d'Italia test their legs.

Wiggins took a 13 second advantage over Nibali, 16 seconds over Scarponi, 39 on Garzelli, 49 on Basso and Evans and 65 on Pozzovivo but finds himself 6:03 behind the Czech race leader who was involved in an eight-man break in the short morning stage in the Austrian town.

And despite summit finishes on Wednesday and Friday, the British star has a lot of work to do in the race for GC honours in this four-day, five-stage 2.HC event that has attracted a stellar field.

Team Sky's sporting director Marcus Ljungqvist said that the win was "great for morale" as part of the Giro preparations.

"We're happy with the race situation because we're building towards the Giro and we weren't prepared to take it on this morning," he said.

"Tomorrow is going to be a tough day with some tough climbs and a mountain top finish so we'll see some GC contenders get into the mix.

"Bradley is getting better and better and this will have been good for his confidence. He's on track for the Giro, and for these hard stages to come."

Results:

Sky 15:20

Astana 15:33

Lampre 15:36

NetApp Endura 15:44

Europcar 15:55

Bardiani Valvole 15:55

Vini Fantini 15:59

BMC 16:09

Cannondale 16:09

MTN Qhubeka 16:11

CCC Polsat 16:12

Rusvelo 16:18

Caja Rural 16:19

AG2R 16:25

Colombia 16:26

Ceramica Flaminia 16:28

Champion System 17:02