Roglic loses out on pink jersey by one hundredth of a second
Primoz Roglic was so close to the Giro d’'Italia's maglia rosa he could almost reach out and touch it. The LottoNL-Jumbo rider ended his opening time trial in disappointment after placing second to Tom Dumoulin by one hundredth of second.
Both Dumoulin and Roglic covered the 9.8km time trial in 11:03 with the Dutchman taking first place and the overall leader's jersey. A further six seconds back, Andrey Amador (Movistar) rounded out the podium in third place.
"I didn't even dream about winning this time trial," Roglic said "I've delivered some fine time trials, but they weren't even close to what the specialists are capable of. I was very close today, though. I don't think that I did anything wrong, but to be honest, I haven't been thinking about it at all.
It was totally crazy around me on the course. I wasn't even able to hear my sports director talking to me through the ear piece."
Amador motivated for three weeks of racing
Andrey Amador (Movistar) finished in third place at time trial in Apeldoorn, six seconds behind Dumoulin and Roglic. He was pleased with his result, but more pleased with his teammate Alejandro Valverde, who finished only 24 seconds down and is set up nicely for a shot at the overall classification against his main rivals.
"I'm very happy with today as the beginning of, hopefully, a great Giro for the team and for Alejandro, who has made a great time [in the time trial]," Amador said. "The team leaves greatly strengthened today.. .. and this only the beginning. I think that I am fine, I've come in prepared so that the legs will go further. I hope they don't fail, and I will be there until the end of Giro'll see what happens."
Majka limits losses in Apeldoorn
Tinkoff Saxo's Rafal Majka did what he set out to do at the opening time trial for the Giro d'Italia - limit his losses. While his teammate Manuele Boaro finished 15th, 18seconds behind winner Tom Dumoulin, Majka ended up in 60th place at 30 seconds back.
"Today was about not losing too much time to the other GC contenders for Rafal, and then the other guys going about 95 percent to get into the rhythm but not go too deep," said director Tristan Hoffman. "Manuele pushed on though and had a good ride to come 15th on this course. Rafal lost a little bit of time to the favourites but in general it was good and we can be quite pleased with the start, as we didn't have any real expectations for this stage."
As for how he faired against the other GC rivals, Majka is among them. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is 19 seconds back, Steven Kruijswijk (Team LottoNl-Jumbo) at 22, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) at 24, Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) at 30, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) at 32, Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo) at 33 and Mikel Landa (Team Sky) at 40 seconds behind.
Ulissi finds good legs
Diego Ulissi was the highest placed rider from Lampre-Merida in the opening time trial at the Giro d'Italia. He finished 31st at 29 seconds behind winner Tom Dumoulin. The Italian said he is satisfied with his efforts on the day and glad that his legs were feeling good.
"I'm satisfied with my time trial, I achieved the goal of being regular on the whole course, despite the fact that the wind in the second half of the track was blowing from ahead," Ulissi said. "I pedaled on my Merida Warp TT pushing the 53x12 or 13, I chose the 50 mm Fulcrum Racing Speed front wheel and lenticular rear wheels. I was not looking for a top result, however, I found good legs."
Safety first for Dimension Data in Apeldoorn
Dimension Data went into the opening time trial at the Giro d'Italia without high expectations. The main goals of the day, according to director Rolf Aldag, was to get everyone in safely.
"The most important thing of today is we got everybody home safe," Aldag said. "It was a super nice experience to see Holland in pink. There were a lot of fans on the side of the road cheering the riders on. There are another 20 days to go for us, we started to get into our routine today and now we have two more days in Holland before we make our transfer down to Italy."
Dimension Data is making their debut at this year's edition of the of the Giro d'Italia. Newly crowned South African road champion Jaco Venter will be one of five African riders among the nine-man team to start the Italian Grand Tour. Venter finished 49 seconds behind winner Dumoulin.
Ludvigsson wins young rider jersey
The 25-year-old from Sweden finished fourth on the day, just eight seconds behind teammate and overall race leader Tom Dumoulin, and good enough to earn the white jersey of the Italian Grand Tour's best young rider.
Ludvigsson credited his team with putting him into position to have a run at the podium.
"We made a really good plan before the start and the coaching from the car was great," he said. "I made minor mistakes in a few corners, I couldn't hear the radio properly because of the noise from the crowd. Therefore it is a pity I end up fourth, it would have been nice to be third for once.
"The time trial was difficult but I had really good legs and I took the white jersey. It is a fantastic feeling to start a Grand Tour like this. I am so happy for Tom and for the team, it is the first victory of the season and it is a really good day for us."
The team will now turn its attention toward defending Dumoulin's leader's jersey, said director Marc Reef.
"We have four guys in the top 15 [Dumoulin, Ludvigsson, Chad Haga and George Preidler – ed.] and we can see that they are really on a good level and they can push power for a long time and keep the speed high," Reef said. "It is impressive what we showed here today. It was also great to see Chad performing at a high level after recovering from the training accident."
Watch the highlights video from the Giro d'Italia stage 1 time trial
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