Team Sky rode to a comfortable victory in the second of the day's stages in the Giro Del Trentino, but it was Josef Cerny of Team CCC who rode into the leader's jersey.
The first of the day's stages was a short 128-km run into the Austrian town of Lienz. The peloton decided to take a relaxed attitude to the stage and allowed eight riders to pull out a significant lead.
The break gelled well together and it wasn't until the modest climb up the Iselsberg that Michael Rodriguez pushed the pace and gained nearly 20 seconds on his fellow escapees. The rest of the break didn't panic however, and caught the Colombian on the descent.
The stage came down to a tense run-in in which Cerny showed his hand first, injecting a burst of speed that only Rodriguez and Ag2r's Maxime Bouet could match.
It was Bouet who then had the strength left to outsprint his rivals and take his first win since 2010. It was a sweet moment for the Frenchman, who later told reporters, “I was emotional because my last win was over two years ago. I’ve been in a lot of breaks in a lot of races since then but I haven’t had a lot of wins” (CyclingNews.com).
The peloton cruised over the line 6:51 down on Bouet.
Attentions then turned to the second stage of the day, a 14-km team time trial. This time it was Team Sky's turn to take an impressive victory as they won easily with a time of 15:20.
Their closest challengers were Vincenzo Nibali's Astana team, who crossed the line 12 seconds down.
Josef Cerny, who had earlier finished second to Bouet, finished with his CCC team in 12th place. This was enough to snatch the leader's jersey away from the Frenchman, whose Ag2r team finished 12 seconds further back in 15th place.
With a gap of over six minutes between themselves and the leader, the pressure will be on the big names to ride well over the remaining three stages. It is an impressive field, including big names such as Italians Nibali, Michele Scarponi and Ivan Basso, and Tour de France winners Sir Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans.