Disaster for Evans in Giro time trial


Australia’s Cadel Evans had another stage to forget in the Giro D’Italia on Wednesday after his team finished way down the standings in the fourth stage time trial.


Vincenzo Nibali pulled on the race leader’s pink jersey at the after leading his Liquigas team to victory in the trial over 33km on Wednesday.

Liquigas powered over the undulating course from Savigliano to Cuneo in the Piedmont region to finish ahead of Briton Bradley Wiggins’ Team Sky, 13sec back, with HTC-Columbia finishing third at 21sec.

Evans’s BMC team started disastrously, fatally losing two of their team early on and finishing way down the standings at 1min 21sec behind Liquigas to leave the Australian, the reigning world champion and a two-time Tour de France runner-up, a massive 1:59 behind Nibali before any mountains stages.

Overnight leader Alexandre Vinokourov was forced to give up the pink jersey after his Astana team lost composure in the closing kilometres, the Kazakh losing 38sec to end up sixth in the overall standings, 33sec adrift.

Despite the crucial mountains stages still to come, Vinokourov, who returned to competition last year following a two-year ban for blood doping, is hoping to strike early.

“I had hoped to take some more time off the climbers,” said Vinokourov, the winner last month of the hilly one-day classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

While failing to distance rivals like 2008 Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre of Spain, who had his Cervelo team to thank for helping limit his losses to only 38sec, Vinokourov did pull away from Evans.

Sicilian all-rounder Nibali, who finished an impressive seventh in last year’s Tour de France, was only called up for the race at the last minute after Franco Pellizotti was accused of doping.

Thursday’s fifth stage is held over 162 kilometres between Novara and Novi Ligure, where the race will pay homage to the Italian legend Fausto Coppi, who died 50 years ago.

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