Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) won the first maglia rosa of the Giro d’Italia 2016 after beating Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Andrey Amador (Movistar) in the time trial.
LottoNL-Jumbo team was very close to creating a massive surprise and thus denying the local fans a home win. Former ski jumper Primoz Roglic has long been regarded as one of the biggest stage race talents but he is known as a climber, not a time triallist.
It came as a massive surprise when the Slovenian beat long-time leader Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin) by a massive 8 seconds to move into the lead and it turned out that his time would be very hard to beat for the pre-race favourites. Dumoulin was on track as he crossed the time check in a time that was three seconds better but when he sprinted to the line, it was clear that it would be close. In the end, he just did enough as he beat the Slovenian by less than a second, with Roglic shaking his head in disbelief over his near-miss.
Dumoulin still had to wait for Stefan Küng (BMC) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek) to arrive before he could celebrate his first win of the year and he had a scare when he heard that Küng had passed the time check in a time that was just one second off the mark. However, disaster struck for the strong Swiss as he crashed in a turn where Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) had gone down earlier in the stage, and as he still managed to post an impressive time of 11.33, 30 seconds off the mark, he was left wondering what might have been.
Cancellara had travelled to Apeldoorn as the pre-race favourite but after he fell ill yesterday, his chances were compromised. When he passed the time check with a time loss of 8 seconds, it was evident that there were no miracles and even though he did well to take 8th, it was a frustrating day for the Swiss.
Among the GC contenders, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was the big winner as he finished the stage in 16th, gaining time on all his pre-race rivals. Alejandro Valverde and Movistar had a solid day as Andrey Amador finished third, 6 seconds behind Dumoulin, while the captain lost just 5 seconds to Nibali. Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) lost 11 seconds to the Italian, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) 13 seconds, Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) 14 second, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) 19 seconds while Mikel Landa (Sky) will head into the road stages with a time loss of 21 seconds.
Dumoulin will try to defend his position in the second stage which is an almost completely flat run through the Netherlands from Arnhem to Nijmegen. There’s a small climb 34.7km from the finish but apart from that, there are no challenges apart from the wind which can blow the race to pieces. The stage ends with two laps of an 8.6km finishing circuit where a sprint finish is expected.
Giro d’Italia 2016 – stage 1 results (Apeldoorn ITT):
|1||Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)||
|2||Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo)||
|3||Andrey Amador (Movistar)||
|4||Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin)||
|5||Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep)||
|6||Moreno Moser (Cannondale)||
|7||Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep)||
|8||Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo)||
|9||Matthias Brändle (IAM)||
|10||Silvan Dillier (BMC)||
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