Stage 2: Ischia to Forio, 17.4km, team time trial
Anyone who says a team time trial doesn’t matter in the bigger picture of a three-week race is kidding themselves. Last year, when seconds truly did count on the final day, Ryder Hesjedal must have been thankful that Garmin-Sharp had won stage 4’s TTT and taken those five seconds off Joaquim Rodriguez’s Katusha team. This year could hold the same late dramas so the big GC teams will want to do well here. The twisty, undulating parcours on the north side of the tiny volcanic island of Ischia isn’t long so, barring any disastrous team fails, the top teams should be pretty tight in the standings.
Sky will want to take this stage, both for pride and to put Bradley Wiggins in pink, while Garmin, Katusha and Astana will want to spoil their parade – or at least make sure they themselves don’t get their chances rained on. That said, Omega Pharma-Quick Step are the world champions in this discipline (albeit with a very different line-up to what they have here) and have the added motivation of defending the maglia rosa to spur them on.
Link: Official website