ORICA-GreenEDGE won the team time trial on the opening stage of the 2014 Giro d’Italia on Friday. Svein Tuft led the Australian outfit across the finish line, stopping the clock at 24’42 over the 21.7 kilometre course. The Canadian celebrated his 37th birthday by pulling on the maglia rosa in Belfast.
The flat route made for fast racing, and the team handled the technical sections with ease of course, carving their way through the tunnel of noise created by the spectators decked out in pink. The team clocked the winning time with an average speed of 52.7 kilometres per hour. The second team to race, ORICA-GreenEDGE endured a two hour wait in the hot seat before receiving confirmation that their ride was good for the win. Five seconds slower than the Australian outfit, Omega Pharma-Quick-Step had come closest to challenging for the jersey. At seven seconds, BMC rounded out the stage podium.
Part of the team since its maiden season, Tuft has been an integral part of each of the Australian outfit’s important team time trial results. During his tenure with the team, the eight time Canadian National Champion has helped deliver victory in the collective race against the clock at Tirreno-Adriatco, Eneco Tour and at the Tour de France. The win at the Tour put Simon Gerrans in the yellow jersey.
Tuft teamed up with Luke Durbridge to twice win Duo Normand, sending a record-breaking time last year. He also was part of the team’s medal winning rides in the team time trial at the World Championships – bronze in 2012, silver last year. The second Canadian to pull on the pink jersey, Tuft follows in the footsteps of Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp).
“I’m completely overwhelmed by this. It was an incredible thing for the team to give me this chance. I’m so proud to ride for a team where something like this can happen. These guys are all like brothers to me. We came in with big expectations, and we were able to deliver. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but being up there on the podium with the guys was something I’ll never forget.” - Svein Tuft
“We’ve had some big victories over the last two weeks. This is one we called a long way out. This was our big goal at the Giro. I think a lot of teams are scared to call it because they’re scared of failing. That’s not how we roll. We’re honest. We called it. We went for it. We got it. This is a very proud moment.” - Sport Director Matt White