Posted by Editoress on 05/9/14
Canada's Svein Tuft became only the second Canadian in history to don the pink jersey of the leader of the Giro d'Italia today, on the opening stage in Belfast, Ireland, when he led his Orica-GreenEDGE team mates across the finish line as they won the team time trial. Tuft won on his 37th birthday, a gift, he said, from his team. Tuft joins 2012 Giro winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) as a member of the exclusive two-person club to wear pink.
Orica-GreenEdge was only the second team to start, but their time of 24:42 for 21.7 kilometres proved to be unbeatable. The team did have some luck with their early start position, since they were near the finish when it started to rain, which made the course slick in spots. Ryder Hesjedal's Garmin-Sharp team had the worst luck, when a crash took down all but the front three riders, with Dan Martin having to pull out of the race with a suspected broken collarbone. Garmin-Sharp finished 3:26 down, as they limped across the line with the bare minimum of five riders. Omega Pharma-QuickStep was second at five seconds and BMC was third at seven seconds.
Tuft was interviewed at the finish:
Question: Happy birthday; a great way to celebrate your birthday.
Svein Tuft: Yeah, it's an amazing day, the day started with a lot of stress, and I was thinking that this is a pretty crazy way to spend your birthday. What a treat ... I can't thank my team enough for giving me this opportunity. It's once in a lifetime for a guy like me ... what a fantastic team.
Question: Was it decided before the start of the stage who would win?
ST: They gave me the gift, it was really a birthday present. This team is really selfless that way, and I just feel really fortunate to be given that gift on my birthday.
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