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Garmin win puts Navardauskas in pink

The Lithuanian rider is the new leader of the Giro d’Italia after the time trial in Verona.

Lithuanian rider Ramunas Navardauskas celebrates winning the race leader's pink jersey today.
Lithuanian rider Ramunas Navardauskas celebrates winning the race leader's pink jersey today.
Image: Luk Beines/AFP/GettyImages)

LITHUANIA’S RAMUNAS NAVARDAUSKUS is the new leader of the Giro d’Italia after today’s team time trial in Verona.

As the race entered Italy after three days in Denmark, Navardauskas grabbed hold of the maglia rosa thanks to the efforts of his team Garmin-Barracuda, who claimed victory in the 33.2km stage.

Previous pink jersey holder Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) battled a right ankle injury all day and nearly crashed as he gave up his advantage. Navardauskas — flanked by team-mates Tyler Farrar, Robbie Hunter and Ryder Hesjedal — were just too quick in the run to the finish to win by five seconds from surprise packets Katusha.

“It’s fantastic, we really love the team time trial here at Garmin, and to take the pink jersey makes it even better,” Farrar said after the day’s racing.

Garmin-Barracuda completed the stage in a time of 37 minutes four seconds, with Katusha finishing second. Astana and Saxo Bank tied for third on the day 22 seconds back. Team Sky could only manage ninth-fastest with an injured Mark Cavendish on board, as Geraint Thomas of Wales — second in the general classification prior to the time trial — slipped down the standings as his team finished 30 seconds behind Garmin.

Farrar, Hunter and Hesjedal all trail Navardauskas by 10 seconds in the general standings, with Phinney (+13s) sitting fifth. Garmin have another two riders in the top 10 with Sebastien Rosseler (+25s) and Christian Vande Velde (+26s) sitting eighth and ninth respectively. A 209km stage five awaits riders on Thursday, with competitors to race from Modena to Fano.

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