So, we expected one Briton on the podium but got another. Congratulations to Alex Dowsett for the biggest win of his career - justified his leaving Sky to join Movistar this season. It's now all to play for in the GC, with Wiggins going into the mountains down on Nibali, the new maglia rosa.
Gabicce Mare - Saltara
Giro d'Italia - 11 May 2013
Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 11:10 on 11 May 2013. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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General classification: 1. Nibali, 2. Evans +29, 3. Gesink +1:15, 4. Wiggins +1:16, 5. Scarponi +1:24, 6. Hesjedal +2:05, 7. Henao +2:11, 8. Santambrogio +2:43, 9, Niemiec +2:44, 10. Uran +2:49.
Result: 1. Dowsett, 2. Wiggins +10, 3. Kangert +14, 4. Nibali +21, 5. Clement +32, 6. Durbridge +35, 7. Evans +39, 8. Boaro +45, 9. Henao +53, 10, Scarponi +53.
Benat Intxausti will plummet down the standings today. He was well down before the second split ahead of the climb - and he might ship a few minutes here now. Could well be five minutes - he still has 1.2km. So it will be the pink jersey to Nibali and the stage win to Dowsett today. Yes, here's Intaxusti - it's 41st and 4:01 down on the stage winner.
Nibali will lose time to Wiggins - but nowhere near as much as he expected to. In fact, just 11 seconds. The Italian sets the 4th fastest time, 21 seconds down on Dowsett, who has won today's stage because Intxausti is nowhere near competing for the stage.
Hesjedal croses the line 2:23 down on Dowsett, who surely has it in the bag now.
Hesjedal is into the final kilometre and the defending champion will lose quite a bit of time today.
Nibali has slowed on the mid-section: he's in sixth place at 1:07 from Dowsett at the second check.
Hesjedal is quite far down at the second check: 16th place at 2:44. But he will have kept something back for the final climb, for sure.
Alex Dowsett has just tweeted from the winner's enclosure: "Not long now. This wait is agonising! Thank you so much for all the kind messages." Will he hold on to take a famous victory?
Cadel Evans digs deep on the last climb but he can only take provisional sixth, 39 seconds down on Dowsett. Just five more riders to finish now.
Robert Gesink was ninth at the finish, 1:22 down on Dowsett.
Evans has slipped back quite a bit: he's only eighth fastest at the second split, 1:33 down on Dowsett ahead of the big final climb.
Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) crosses the line more than three minutes down on Alex Dowsett of Movistar, the current leader.
Nibali will be the race leader tonight if he continues his barnstorming ride - but the telling point will be the second intermediate sprint, because we know that this is a course that gets harder. Remember, Evans is going well too. At first check it was 1. Nibali, 2. Dowsett +8, 3. Evans +30.
The pink jersey of Benat Intxausti lost 1:05 at the first check. That sounds bad - but Wiggins was one-minute down on Nibali's time but finished well. Either way, with Nibali riding so well, the Spaniard will lose the maglia rosa today.
WIGGINS UPDATE: Team Sky have denied that Wiggins is sick and denied that he crashed during the time trial.
Like Wiggins, Scarponi puts in am impressive shift on the final climb. The Italian crosses the line 53 seconds down in eighth. He'll settle for losing only 43 seconds to Wiggins - more than he could have ever hoped for.
Hesjedal looks to be suffering on an uphill drag. He takes a swig of water and struggles in the wrong gear. He was 51 seconds down at the first check.
Scarponi has faded quite considerably. The Italian veteran is 1:39 down on the second check.
Here comes Vincenzo Nibali through the streets of Pesaro. This will be a good indicator of how things will pan out. And it's the best time for the Italian: eight seconds faster than Dowsett!
Ryder Hesjedal passes through the first check in ninth place, 43 seconds down on Alex Dowsett. That's faster than Wiggins - but the Briton suffered those problems on the first section and got much stronger towards the end.
"It's all about being consistent throughout the time trial." Wise words from Sean Kelly.
Bradley Wiggins really beasts the final climb and manages to cut the deficit to just 10 seconds on Dowsett going over the finish line. The British youngster lets out a huge sigh of relief - he really could win this one.
Sergio Henao pulls out from Kelderman on the final climb before crossing the line in sixth, 53 seconds down on Dowsett.
Very good time for Evans at the first time check - he's just 22 seconds down on Dowsett. That's the second best time for the Australian veteran.
Evans is approaching the first check. He's using an integrated aerodynamic water bottle - which were banned in January, so it will be interesting to see if he is docked time or fined.
Wiggins is well down at the second check. Well down. He trails Dowsett by 59 seconds and now has that climb to negiotiate.
Jonathan Vaughters, the team manager of Garmin, claims that Evans, Intxausti and Hesjedal "will all go much faster" than Wiggins today. On Twitter, Vaughters also said that "Gesink will surprise" and claims that Wiggins is suffering from the same stomach bug as Dario Cataldo but "Sky are just keeping quiet on it".
Tanel Kangert of Astana set the fourth best time at the first check and is now approaching the finish. He's going very well - and it's going to be close. But the Estonian crosses the line in second place, 14 seconds down on Dowsett. Kangert really improved on the second half of the stage.
Michele Scarponi, the 2011 winner, is riding very well. He sets the third best time at the first check, 32 seconds down on Dowsett. That's 20 seconds quicker than Wiggins - who needed that bike change. But the second half of the ITT is much harder and time will tell if the Lampre rider can continue this fine ride.
The Henao-Kelderman duel continues: the Colombian passed the Duchman again, but Kelderman is now right on his wheel - and the commissaires aren't happy that they're riding so close to one another.
Race leader Benat Intxausti of Movistar rolls down the ramp in full pink attire - except for his helmet, which is a regular team time trial piece.
Vincenzo Nibali rolls down the ramp three minutes after Ryder Hesjedal. Just one more rider to go now.
Henao is having an odd ride. The Colombian clearly went off very fast - overtaking Kelderman and setting the second best time at the first check. But he was then passed back by Kelderman on an uphill - but now appears to be closing back onto the Dutchman's wheel.
NEWSFLASH: The reason why Wiggins is so slow is that he crashed before that bike change. It was not caught on TV images.
CORRECTION: It appears that Wiggins has not passed Kelderman nor Henao. In fact, both Henao and Rigoberto Uran set quicker times than their Sky team leader at the first check. Henao was 27 seconds down on Dowsett in 2nd place and Uran 42 seconds down in 5th.
Cadel Evans overshoots a corner and almost rides into a wall! The Australian has to pull his right shoulder away to avoid a collision there.
Wiggins is slower than Dowsett, Durbridge, Kangert, Clement and Gretsch.
It's only the 6th best time for Wiggins at the first check: 52 seconds down on Alex Dowsett.
Bradley Wiggins passes through the first time check at Pesaro - and he is not doing well!
Michele Scarponi, Samuel Sanchez and Robert Gesink are all on the road. Cadel Evans is next, followed by the top five: Santambrogio, Caruso, Hesjedal, Nibali and Intxausti.
Wiggins has passed both Kelderman and Henao on his way to the first intermediate check. That's three riders and one bike change in less than half an hour.
Wiggins unwraps an energy gel and discards the wrapper on the side of the road. You can see the scabs on his right knee and elbow from that crash yesterday. He had that gel tucked into his shorts.
Wiggins changed bikes on a slight uphill and so would not have lost too much time. It must have been a gearing problem or a flat tyre. Were it a planned change, he would have done it ahead of the final climb, not so early in the ITT. Time till tell how much that will affect him.
BIKE CHANGE: Wiggins waves to the team car twice, then stops, throws his bike down, decides to head back to it to get the water bottle, and then takes a new bike. His body language suggests that wasn't planned. Who knows.
Wiggins passes Di Luca with consummate ease - it's as if they're engaged in different sports. Wiggo is driving a big gear whereas Di Luca has a high cadence on a small gear, with his shoulders swaying.
Former race leader Luca Paolini is down the ramp for Katusha. We're into the final 15 riders now.
Wiggins looks pretty supreme. He has a first rider in his sights. The Sky man is in a grey skin suit - short sleaves and lower legs on display below the knee.
Sean Kelly reckons Wiggins will catch three or four riders on the road today - that means Danilo Di Luca, Sergio Henao, Wilco Keldeman and Michal Golas. Despite the five minutes gap, he'll catch Pozzovivo too and Jose Serpa.
Wiggins straight into the narrow roads and uphill ramp. This course is so hard for the riders to get into a rhythm. What's more, riders must leave a lot in reserve for the final climb towards the finish, which has a max gradient of 13%.
Bradley Wiggins, the big favourite for today's ITT and for the entire race, is now on the road. He'll be pleased to see the sun is back - no sign of rain at Gabicce Mare.
Sergio Henao rolls down the ramp for Sky. His team-mate Bradley Wiggins will leave in 2 minutes - and should well pass the Colombian at some point.
Down the ramp rolls Ag2R-La Mondiale's Domenico Pozzovivo, the piano playing pint-sized climber. He'll concede a lot of time today, that's for sure.
Sweden's Fredrik Kessiakoff is well down at the finish. The Astana rider has been lacking form this year - and this is merely confirmation of this. He comes home in 7th, 2:38 down on Alex Dowsett.
Bradley Wiggins will roll down the ramp in 10 minutes. After his setback yesterday, Sky manager Dave Brailsford said: "Bradley's fine - there's no physical injury. Ultimately when you have difficult conditions like these and hard racing this type of thing can happen - it's the Giro. It's a setback, but Brad's still very much in the hunt. We've now got to take each day as it comes, focus on fully recovering tonight and hitting the time trial hard tomorrow."
CRASH: Nicola Boem of Bardiani Valvole skids into the barriers on the tight right-hand bend, just as Karsten Kroon (Saxo-Tinkoff) passes by. The Italian gets back on his bike, realises that it's not working, and needs a change. He looks rather sheepish because that crash came right in front of numerous fans camped out on the corner.
The rain has stopped and the sun is back out. The roads are still a little wet, mind. Astana's Fredrik Kessiakoff is on the road but he's not riding so well it seems. We have no splits for him as he passes the 10-to-go banner.
Juan Jose Cobo crosses the line to set the 7th best time, 2:40 down on his Movistar team-mate Alex Dowsett. The Spaniard has had a terrible race - littered with crashes. Quite how he won the Vuelta in 2011 is really quite astonishing. Unbelievable, even.
Dutchman Stef Clement (Blanco) sets the second best time at the finish, 32 seconds down on Dowsett.
Leader Alex Dowsett of Movistar has just tweeted: "Hardest TT of my life". It could well be the best TT of his life too - it will take some beating now with the rain coming down.
Manuele Boaro (Saxo-Tinkoff) sets the third best time at the finish, 45 seconds down on leader Alex Dowsett. Patrick Gretsch is now fourth, and ahead of Jesse Sergent, and 1:48 down on the Movistar man.
Stef Clement of Blanco has set the third-best time at the first check, 44 seconds down on Dowsett.
Here's the rain - it's pouring at the finish in Saltara. Wiggins starts in about 45 minutes. He will not be pleased. Alex Dowsett, on the other hand, will. So will all Wiggins' big rivals on GC - the kind of guys like Nibali and Hesjedal, who are better equipped to push it in bad weather.
Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) sets the second best time at the finish, 35 seconds down on leader Dowsett.
The grey clouds hanging over the riders look very ominous. Forecasts say the heavens will open pretty soon - meaning Bradley Wiggins may have to face his demons and ride in the rain. He sets off in just under an hour at 14:08 UK time.
Alex Dowsett (Movistar) is the new leader after completing this very tricky course in a time of 1:16.27. The Briton leads Jesse Sergent (Movistar) by exactly two minutes.
Luke Durbridge passes through the second check 47 seconds down on Alex Dowsett.
Frenchman Julien Berard of Ag2R-La Mondiale did not start today's time trial.
Alex Dowsett is through the second check with a 2:17 lead over Sergent. The Briton is flying today - but can he keep it together up this steep climb to the finish?
Jesse Sergent (RadioShack) has completely decimated the field, coming across the line in a time of 1:18.27 - that's 3:05 better than Belkov. That puts Gavazzi a huge 14:42 minutes down.
A cluster of specialists have passed through the first intermediate check but still Alex Dowsett leads. Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge) is 37secs down, Patrick Gretsch (Argos Shimano) is 49 seconds down and Manuele Boaro (Saxo-Tinkoff) is 53 seconds down.
Jesse Sergent is the new leader at the second check, the New Zealander shaving 2:26 off Belkov's effort. Soon after, Sky's Dario Cataldo passes through and he too is faster than Belkov, but still 1:25 down on Sergent.
Although he was the fourth rider to start, Maxim Belkov (Katusha) is first to finish. Benchmark time at Saltara: 1:21.32.
At the second intermediate check, Maxim Belkov has target time of 1:13.21. That's a huge 5:36 ahead of Jack Bobridge of Blanco, the first rider to roll down the ramp today. Spare a thought for Mattia Gavazzi though - the Italian from Androni Giocattoli is 10:16 down. The Russian now has that ramp to the finish.
WOW! New best time at the first check - and British youngster Alex Dowsett is absolutely flying. The Movistar rider powers through Pesaro a full 1:18 ahead of Sergent to take the provisional lead.
Taylor Phinney won the Giro's main time trial last year to take the pink jersey - but that was a shorter, flatter affair. Also, this year the American youngster has been struggling with hay fever and illness. The BMC man comes through the first check 54 seconds down on Jesse Sergent so it's not going to be Phinney's day.
RadioShack's Jesse Sergent has set the best time at the first intermediate check at Pesaro. The youngster from New Zealand has given us a benchmark of 37:38. Maxim Belkov of Katusha is in second place, +4, and Sky's Dario Cataldo is third +1:07. The time gaps are pretty huge - with some riders already four minutes down suggesting the time losses at the finish could well be in excess of 10 minutes for some of the non-specialists.
Some start times for you to watch out for - all in GMT (UK time): Taylor Phinney (BMC) 11:44, Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge) 11:53, Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) 12:42, Sergio Henao (Sky) 14:06, Bradley Wiggins (Sky) 14:08, Rigoberto Uran (Sky) 14:09, Michele Scarponi (Lampre) 14:24, Robert Gesink (Blanco) 14:42, Cadel Evans (BMC) 14:45, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) 14:54, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 14:57, Benat Intxausti (Movistar) 15:00.
Today will be pretty intriguing. Wiggins was meant to trounce his rivals today to build up a nice cushion heading into the mountains. As it is, a battered and bruised (both physically and psychologically) Wiggins is looking to simply reduce the deficit incurred after a testing opening week in Italy. That said, the Sky rider should still be in pink tonight - but just not with as many seconds to play with. This will make the remainder of the race much more appealing for the neutral.
While Wiggins is overwhelming favourite after winning both time trials in last year's Tour then topping it off with the Olympic time trial gold medal, the course today is a different beast. Despite its length, only 20km are flat, with the technical course starting with a series of bumps and finishing with a steep ramp which tops out at 13%. There are time checks at Pesaro (26km) and Calcinelli (51km).
It's a cloudy day with a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. After the rain yesterday, many of the peloton will be hoping for a dry day. Wiggins's rivals - having seen how the race favourite struggled in the wet - will be doing a rain dance, however.
Today's time trial sees the peloton roll down the ramp at one-minute intervals in reverse order. Things got under way at 11:10 GMT with Australia's Jack Bobridge (Blanco), last on GC. The undulating and technical course will take at least 1hr 10mins and Wiggins will roll down the ramp at 2:08 GMT. Once we get to the top 15, the riders will leave at three-minute intervals. The last rider to start will be maglia rosa Benat Intxausti at 3pm GTM.
A dramatic day of multiple crashes and numerous attacks saw Lotto Belisol's Hansen take the biggest win of his career as Spaniard Benat Intxausti (Movistar) moved into the pink jersey. With overnight leader Luca Paolini (Katusha) coming home in the same group as Wiggins, Intxausti now leads Italy's Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) by five seconds and the Canadian defending champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) by eight seconds. Wiggins is 1:32 down in 22nd place.
Yesterday, the pre-race favourite Wiggins crashed in wet conditions in the hilly Abruzzo region as Australian Adam Hansen soloed to victory in stage seven. Wiggins dropped out of the top 20 in the overall standings after crossing the line a disconsolate figure more than a minute behind his main rivals in the undulating 177km stage from San Salvo.
Welcome to live coverage of stage eight of the Giro d'Italia - a 54.8km individual time trial along winding coastal roads from Gabicce Mare to Saltara. It's a tricky parcours with a nasty climb right at the end - but it has Britain's Bradley Wiggins' name all over it.