The Tour Take | GIRO D'ITALIA Stage 1
1st - Tom Dumoulin
2nd - Rohan Dennis @ 0:02
3rd - Victor Campenaerts @ 0:02
A 9.9km time trial (no, not a prologue as it’s over 8km) winding around the city of Jerusalem starts off this year’s Giro. A very technical course with bumps, off-camber corners, sweeping descents, and a few hills too. No major inclines, but little rollers of 3-4% for a couple hundred metres, and 9% in a little pitch to the finish line.
A lot of people were unhappy with the road condition for the course – Froome, Lopez and Sitsou all crashed while doing recon in the morning, with Sitsou breaking a vertebra and having to pull out. Considering the controversy surrounding Israel hosting the event at all, RCS probably didn’t want any more negative press about the route.
Tom Dumoulin takes the Maglia Rosa back, 11 months after he took it home with him, while Maximilian Schachmann wears white, having finished 8th overall. He leads the competition by 8 seconds from Valerio Conti.
The Winning Ride
Dumoulin looked composed the whole way, just beating Dennis’ time at the intermediate timecheck, and holding the advantage home. He said afterwards the course suited him perfectly, and it required a fair amount of strength with some grinding climbs on the way.
The GC Movers and Shakers
Did anybody win the whole Giro in stage 1? Surprisingly, no. But Tom Dumoulin fired a warning shot that he’s on form. He’ll wear pink, and it’s going to be a challenge to take it off him. Dominico Pozzovivo had a stunning ride to lose only 27 seconds, posting the same time as Tony Martin. Is there going to be a renaissance of his GC hopes? Thibaut Pinot too rode well, losing only 33 seconds to Dumoulin. Simon Yates rode well too, limiting his losses to 20 seconds. I had Pello Bilbao pegged for Top 20 and a stage but he finished 6th, 18 seconds back – he could be a GC threat.
The big losers? Undoubtedly Chris Froome as that crash in the day definitely had an effect on him. He lost 37 seconds after looking terribly ginger through the corners. Fabio Aru too struggled, but for power, not confidence; you’d expect him to lose time, but 50 seconds is a lot. Esteban Chaves lost 46 seconds; not a terrible ride, but maybe more than he’d have hoped.
2nd Rohan Dennis @ 0:02
45th Ben O’Connor @ 0:49 (8th in Young Riders’)
46th Chris Hamilton @ 0:50 (9th in Young Riders’
110th Mitch Docker @ 1:12
156th Adam Hansen @ 1:39
159th Zak Dempster @ 1:43
174th Jack Haig @ 2:35
A sprint stage! Two little bumps are in the middle of the stage, and one’s a Category 4 climb. Expect to see a big battle there, as the winner gets to wear the KOM jersey on Sunday, but otherwise it’s pan flat, and ending a sprint. Finishing in Tel Aviv, there are some 90 degree corners in the run in, but not overly technical. In the final km, there’s a right handler with 800m to go, and an arrow straight run to the line.
Elia Viviani is the fastest man in the field, so it's hard to go past him. Sam Bennett will challenge, as will Andrea Guardini, Kristina Sbaragli, Danny and Boy Van Poppel, Niccolo Bonifazio, Sacha Modolo, Zak Dempster. We’ll go Viviani, followed by Bennett and Guardini.
See you back at the social club,