Specialized and HTC take victory and lead in 2011 Giro Italia

Specialized takes victory and lead in 2011 Giro Italia. For the second time in three years, HTC-Highroad powered to victory in the opening team time trial of the Tour of Italy, with local rider Marco Pinotti capturing the race lead.

HTC-Highroad completed the 19.3 kilometer course from Venaria Reale to Turin with a ten second advantage over closest rivals RadioShack.

Italy is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its unification this year, and five times national time trial champion, Marco Pinotti was the first HTC-Highroad rider to complete the course, taking the overall lead.
Pinotti finished ninth in last year’s Tour of Italy and won the final time trial stage in 2008. He also led the race in 2007.

“It’s a huge honor to be wearing the maglia rosa,” Pinotti said “But this is a victory that belongs to the whole team. I can’t thank them enough.”

“We made a very strong start, and the best riders took the longest turns on the front. We made sure we kept a steady pace throughout and that’s always important.”

“It was flat all the way but it wasn’t an easy course, you had to be careful with the tram lines and on the corners, some of them were very difficult.”

“But we’d ridden over the race route this morning and we’d prepared everything right down to the last detail.”

“Looking at the result, we couldn’t have done better. It’s a great day for the team.”

Already the winner of the Giro’s opening team time trial in 2009, HTC-Highroad’s victory is the second time in three years that they have taken the first stage of Italy’s premier cycling event.

HTC-Highroad men’s team have now taken 23 victories in 2011.