Caruso takes early race lead after BMC wins team time trial

LIDO DI CAMAIORE, Italy (AP) Italian rider Damiano Caruso took the lead at the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race after his BMC team won the team time trial on Wednesday.

The star-studded BMC team completed the 22.7-kilometer (14.1-mile) stage in 23 minutes, 20 seconds - 17 seconds ahead of the Quick Step team led by Belgian veteran Tom Boonen.

The time is taken from the fifth team rider to cross the line. Caruso was first over the line for BMC and takes the leader's jersey, but he is not considered the team's strongest contender. BMC's main riders Tejay van Garderen and Greg van Avermaet are in a good early position ahead of their main rivals.

There is a strong field competing this year, including 2014 Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida); 2015 Spanish Vuelta champion Fabio Aru (Astana); defending Spanish Vuelta champion Nairo Quintana of Colombia; and Paris-Nice champion Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).

Quintana's Movistar team crossed the line 22 seconds behind BMC and level with French team FDJ. But it was a bad day for Team Sky, which finished nearly two minutes behind BMC.

Thursday's second stage is a 229-kilometer (142-mile) trek from Camaiore to Pomarance with four climbs along the route.

The race finishes next Tuesday with an individual time trial around San Benedetto del Tronto.

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