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Giro d'Italia 2016: Stage 1


The day of days has finally arrived. We're a little over 30 minutes from the start of the 2016 Giro d'Italia, which gets underway with a 9.8km time trial around Apeldoorn. Fabio Sabatini (Etixx-QuickStep) has the honour of being the first starter, and he is due to set out at 13.45 local time.

The 198 riders set out an one-minute intervals, with Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge) the final starter at 17.02 local time. Most of the favourites for both stage honours and final overall victory will go out in the last tranche of riders, listed below:

The full start order is here, and the first riders off from each of the 22 teams are as follows:

Alasdair Fotheringham and Patrick Fletcher are in the Netherlands for Cyclingnews, and they reconnoitred the time trial course yesterday. The verdict? "Flat, fast, and with only a few technical sections, the Giro d'Italia's opening time trial in Apeldoorn will be anything but favourable towards the out-and-out climbers who are contending for overall victory in Turin in three weeks time." Read the full story here.

The total altitude gained over the 9.8 kilometres, meanwhile, is a mere 9 metres.

In Italy, this Giro is all about Vincenzo Nibali, and the Sicilian featured on the front page of this morning's Gazzetta dello Sport beneath the legend "Nibali against everyone." Asked about his condition, Nibali said: “A question mark. But I’m aware that I’ve worked a lot and worked well. The numbers are good, but they’re only important up to a point.” 

There are clear blue skies over Apeldoorn and temperatures have nudged above 20 degrees, as Fabio Sabatini (Etixx-QuickStep) readies himself in the start house to get the 2016 Giro d'Italia underway.

Fabio Sabatini rolls down the start ramp and the 2016 Giro begins. The race begins indoors, incidentally, with the start ramp housed inside the Apeldoorn velodrome. 

Mirco Maestri (Bardiani CSF), Songezo Jim (Dimension Data) and Anton Vorobyev (Team Katusha) are also out on the course.  The intermediate time check is after 4.8 kilometres, and Sabatini will, of course, be the first man through that point.

Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) is now out on the course. A decent ride here could put the German within striking distance of the maglia rosa before the race gets back to Italy - though his fellow countryman Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) will set out with an identical goal.

Fabio Sabatini crosses the line in a time of 11:49 and is our - very - provisional maglia rosa. The Italian won't expect a long stay in the hot heat. 

This is not, incidentally, the first time that a Grand Tour has had an indoor start in the Netherlands. That honour fell to 's-Hertogenbosch twenty years ago, when the 1996 Tour de France got underway from inside one of the largest cattle marts in Europe. Alex Zülle won out on that rainy evening, just ahead of a Chris Boardman who still clearly had his crash in the previous year’s prologue in Saint-Brieuc in mind. 

This is not, incidentally, the first time that a Grand Tour has had an indoor start in the Netherlands. That honour fell to 's-Hertogenbosch twenty years ago, when the 1996 Tour de France got underway from inside one of the largest cattle marts in Europe. Alex Zülle won out on that rainy evening, just ahead of a Chris Boardman who still clearly had his crash in the previous year’s prologue in Saint-Brieuc in mind. And yes, some footage has found its way onto YouTube.

This is not, incidentally, the first time that a Grand Tour has had an indoor start in the Netherlands. That honour fell to 's-Hertogenbosch twenty years ago, when the 1996 Tour de France got underway from inside one of the largest cattle marts in Europe. Alex Zülle won out on that rainy evening, just ahead of a Chris Boardman who still clearly had his crash in the previous year’s prologue in Saint-Brieuc in mind. And yes, some footage has found its way onto YouTube.

Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) has set the new quickest time, clocking 11:37. That's one second quicker than Anton Vorobyev (Team Katusha).

Scratch that, Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo) has since delighted the home crowds by scorching through the finish in a new fastest time of 11:28, some 9 seconds up on Greipel. Hofland was named, incidentally, in honour of Moreno Argentin.

Hofland’s new Italian teammate Enrico Battaglin was interviewed by the great Claudio Gregori in this morning’s Gazzetta dello Sport, and conversation soon turned away from the race to the difficulties inherent in learning the local language. “I’m still climbing but learning Dutch has proved to be like scaling Mount Everest,” Battaglin admitted. “I only understand when they talk about cycling and I can speak a few simple phrases. But to communicate, I have to use English.”

The UCI testers are out in force at the start, according to our man Patrick Fletcher, who says every bike in the race "is being given the ipad treatment." On that note, our own Stephen Farrand travelled to Aigle earlier in the week to hear UCI president Brian Cookson explain the technology behind their measures against mechanical doping.

Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge) took the maglia rosa after the opening team time trial in Belfast two years ago, and he clocks a decent time here. The Canadian crosses the line in 11:29, one second down on Hofland.

Former world hour record holder Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling) has rocketed around the course at an average speed in excess of 52kph to record the new fastest time of 11:17.

Meanwhile, two GC contenders are out on the course at the moment. Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo) is entering the final kilometres, while Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) has just started his effort. This could be a final Grand Tour appearance for each of the veteran former mountain bikers.

Hesjdal was five seconds down on Brändle at the intermediate time check after 4.8 kilometres.

Tanel Kangert (Astana) has come home with the second best time, but his 11:24 is 7 seconds down on Brändle.

Hesjedal finishes in 11:36, 19 seconds down on Brändle.

Lukasz Wisniowski (Etixx-QuickStep) has produced a very respectable time, but his 11:23 is still six seconds down on Brandle. The top five times so far are as follows:



Brandle's time has since fallen to Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin), who has clocked a fine 11:11 to put himself into the hot seat, 6 seconds up on the IAM Cycling man.

Provisional standings:

The Cyclingnews Tour Tracker app is back and available to download. Providing you with the most detailed online and mobile coverage available for the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana - and with bonus coverage of the 2016 Tour of Britain - the Cyclingnews Tour Tracker is the most comprehensive race coverage app on the planet.

We missed him coming through the finish a while ago, but Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) clocked a time of 11:41, fully 30 seconds down on Ludvigsson's provisional best. Ludvigsson's split times will be a very useful guide for his leader, local favourite Tom Dumoulin, who sets out at 16.47 local time.

Last year's Giro winner Alberto Contador has spoken to our man Alasdair Fotheringham of his plans to continue racing in 2017, and his openness to the idea of competing into 2018.  You can read the full interview, a Cyclingnews exclusive, right here

Philip Deignan (Sky) closes his time trial in 11:53, good enough for 31st place thus far. The Irishman performed very strongly in a free role at the Giro two years ago, and will be a key part of Mikel Landa's guard in the high mountains here.

Alexandr Kolobnev (Gazprom-RusVelo) begins his Giro. Many (this writerincluded, mea culpa) assumed the Russian had retired when he announced he was taking an extended break from racing last year, but he is back in the colours of the Giro's surprise wildcard invitation. You can read a profile of the squad here.


48th best time so far for Adam Hansen, who has just started his 14th consecutive Grand Tour, a run that began at the 2011 Vuelta a Espana. 

FDJ's time trialling improvement has been one of the stories of 2016, and Alexandre Geniez crosses the line with the fourth best time to date. His 11:24 is 13 seconds down on Ludvigsson. The Rodez native was 9th overall a year ago, building on his 13th place of 2014.

Alasdair Fotheringham informs us that the wind has been rising slightly in Apeldoorn. It means the riders are chugged along by a tailwind early on before riding against the wind in the closing kilometres.

Geniez, incidentally, had the same time as Ludvigsson at the 4.8km mark, but then coughed up 13 seconds over the back end of the course. It may be flat and uncomplicated from a technical standpoint, but at 9.8km in length, it's long enough to ensure that riders have to dose their efforts carefully or risk fading in the finale.

Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) hurtles out of the velodrome to start his Giro. The Dane is the 104th of 198 starters this afternoon, and will likely go out quickly, like Kangert did, in order to provide a reference point for Nibali.

Fabian Cancellara has been laid low by illness but is still targeting the maglia rosa this afternoon, but Trek-Segafredo have another contender in the shape of Jack Bobridge, who has just started his effort.


Raucous cheers at the finish for Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo) who is riding the final Grand Tour of his career. The Dutchman stops the clock in 11:37, good enough for 13th place so far.

Jack Bobridge, incidentally, was setting off from some very friendly confines in the Apeldoorn velodrome - he won the individual and team pursuit titles there at the 2011 World Track Championships. 

It's a disappointing time for the Australian. Bobridge closes in 11:45, some 34 seconds off Ludvigsson's pace, in provisional 32nd place.

After warming down on the rollers past the finish line, Tobias Ludvigsson has had plenty of time to settle in the hot seat, where he is watching the late finishers come in. 

Fuglsang, meanwhile, had the 9th best time at the finish, clocking 11:31, 20 seconds down on Ludvigsson.

Giant-Alpecin have clearly prepared well for this time trial. Georg Preidler records the third quickest time to date. His 11:20 is just 9 seconds down on his teammate Ludvigsson. Tom Dumoulin will have no shortage of useful information on split times when he rolls down the start ramp...

Carlos Betancur (Movistar) puts in a respectable ride over the 9.8km course, stopping the clock in 11:40 for the 24th best time to date.

Tobias Ludvigsson betrays his first signs of anxiety in the hotseat as news reaches him that Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo) has scorched through the 4.8km mark with the new quickest intermediate time, one second up on the Swede.

Keizer catches and passes his minute man Genki Yamamoto (Nippo-Vini Fantini) in the final kilometre. The home crowds are willing him home. It's going to be close...

Like so many riders, Keizer faded on the second part of the course, and he crosses the line in 11:20, good enough for 4th place, but 9 seconds down on Ludvigsson, the provisional maglia rosa.

Giant-Alpecin has yet to win a race in 2016, while Ludvigsson has landed a victory since he won Etoile des Besseges two years ago. He has still has some way to go here, mind. There are still more than 70 riders left to finish, including the bulk of the favourites for this time trial.

Silvan Dillier (BMC) takes the third best time to date. His time of 11:19 sees him slip in ahead of Preidler and Keizer in the provisional standings.

Provisional standings:

The best times at the intermediate time check after 4.8km make for interesting reading, and demonstrate clearly that the difference on this course is being made in the closing five kilometres.


And Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) duly careers through the 4.8km mark with a new quickest time, some 3 seconds up on Keizer and 4 ahead of Ludvigsson. 

And, not altogether surprisingly, Wellens collapses like a deck chair over the last five kilometres. He comes home in 11:31, losing almost five seconds per kilometre to Ludvigsson over the back end of the course. The wind in the finale seems to be stiffer than many had anticipated.

Giant-Alpecin seem to have sussed out the vagaries of this course, mind. Fourth best time for Chad Haga, who comes home in 11:19.

LottoNL-Jumbo are another team whose riders have all been performing strongly and Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) has hurtled past the finish line with the new best time. His time of 11:03 is some 8 seconds quicker than Ludvigsson, a fine ride from the Slovenian.

Another quick time shortly afterwards, as Moreno Moser (Cannondale) comes home in provisional third place, clocking 11:15, 12 seconds down on Roglic.

Roglic performed very strongly indeed over the back end of the course, and he recorded an average speed of 53.212kph for the 9.8km.

Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) is out on the course, meanwhile. The German will be hard-pressed to match Roglic, but he'll be looking to put himself in contention to wear the maglia rosa by the time the race leaves the Netherlands.

Kittel will surely be satisfied with his showing. The German comes home with the third best time to date, 11 seconds down on Roglic. It all depends on what Dumoulin, Cancellara et al can conjure up later, of course, but as it stands, Kittel is within striking distance - or a couple of time bonuses - of the maglia rosa.

"The pink jersey would be a great extra but it is not the priority," Kittel says after crossing the line. 

Fourth overall a year ago, Andrey Amador (Movistar) is off to a flyer again here. The Costa Rican comes home with the second best time to date. His 11:09 is just 6 seconds down on Roglic.

Disappointment, meanwhile, for local rider Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo), who crashes on a left-hand bend. He remounts but all hopes of a high finish today have disappeared.  

Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) begins his Giro. There are just 22 riders left to start - one rider from each of the 22 teams in the race.

The running order for the remainder of the afternoon's action is as follows: 

A caveat before we start parsing and analysing the performances of the GC contenders over the next half hour or so in minute detail. The longer opening time trial in Utrecht at last year's Tour de France threw up some relatively notable time differences, yet 24 hours later, the day's 'winners', Thibaut Pinot and Vincenzo Nibali, had coughed up minutes to Chris Froome after getting caught out in the crosswinds on the opening road stage. Whatever happens, it's a long road to Turin.

Mikel Landa (Sky) begins his Giro. The Basque is normally a weak time triallist, though he claims to have put in a lot of specific work in the discipline since joining his new team this season. Time will tell...

The loudest cheers of the day for Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) as he sets out in search of the maglia rosa on home roads. 

The applause is rather more muted for Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who will be looking to get around safely.

Dumoulin settles quickly into his aerodynamic tuck. Giant-Alpecin riders have performed well through the afternoon and he will have no shortage of information at his disposal.

Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) is now out on the course. Today will surely be an exercise in damage limitation for the Pole.

Landa comes through the 4.8km mark in 5:37, the 52nd best time to date, some 14 seconds off the pace.

At the finish, meanwhile, Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep) comes home in 11:16, for the 6th best time to date.

Fastest time for Tom Dumoulin at the 4.8km mark. The Dutchman clocks 5:21, two seconds up on Tim Wellens, for an average speed of 53.831kph.

Majka goes through the 4.8km mark already 19 seconds down on the flying Dumoulin. Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale), meanwhile, has just set out on his time trial.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) begins his effort. Judging from the intermediate times, there is a chance to make some useful gains this afternoon.

A wall of noise greets Dumoulin as he sweeps into the final kilometre of his time trial. Has he held his pace over the back end of the course?

Landa comes home in 11:43, some 40 seconds off the pace.

Quickest time for Tom Dumoulin - just. The Dutchman comes home in 11:03, mere fractions of a second up on a disbelieving Roglic, who shakes his head sadly in the hot seat.

19th best time so far for Valverde, 24 seconds down on Dumoulin - but some 16 seconds up on Mikel Landa. The Spaniard won't be unhappy with that start.

Rafal Majka comes home in 11:41 - 38 seconds down on Dumoulin and just 2 ahead of Mikel Landa.

A determined Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) rolls down the start ramp and sweeps through the opening bend. He is the man most likely to deny Dumoulin the pink jersey.

Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge) begins his effort, the final man to start the time trial.

Nibali was 7 seconds down on Dumoulin at the 4.8km mark, but one second up on Valverde.

Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) caught Damiano Cunego for one minute, but has to settle for 19th place so far, just ahead of Valverde.

Disaster for young Stefan Kung (BMC), who crashed into the barriers and loses all hope of stage victory. Mercifully, the Swiss rider quickly remounts his replacement bike and doesn't appear to be badly hurt. He was just one second down on Dumoulin at the 4.8km mark, too.

Cancellara comes through the 4.8km mark some 8 seconds down on Dumoulin.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) gets around safely. He comes home in 15th place, 19 seconds down on Dumoulin. That means he's gained a second on Valverde and 21 seconds on Landa. A solid start for the Sicilian.

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) recorded a time of 11:35, incidentally. There are just five riders left to finish, and, barring something very special, it looks as though Dumoulin is going to claim the first maglia rosa of the Giro.

A real case of what might have been for Stefan Kung. Even with his crash, he only lost 16 seconds to Tom Dumoulin. The Swiss rider was clearly on song...

As Tom Dumoulin warms down on the rollers, the king of the Netherlands ambles over to pass on his congratulations. The Giant-Alpecin man has this in the bag.

Cancellara can't get close to Dumoulin. The Swiss rider crosses the line with the 8th best time to date, 14 seconds down on the Dutchman. Michael Hepburn is the only rider left to finish...

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) has won stage 1 of the Giro d'Italia and will wear the first maglia rosa of the race. Hepburn comes home in 11:23, 20 seconds off the pace.

Dumoulin finally allows himself to accept the congratulations of King Willem-Alexander and Giro director as he climbs off the rollers. The weight of expectation was on the Dutchman, but he more than delivered...

A disappointed Cancellara, meanwhile, sits on the pavement, surrounded by a scrum of microphones and cameras.


A relieved Tom Dumoulin speaks before mounting the podium and receiving the maglia rosa: "It is a relief. I’m feeling sick in my stomach now but at the same time so happy. I did it. Luck was on my side today, the luck I didn’t have in Romandie. To have it paid back here in the Netherlands is very special."



A gnomic maxim worthy of Johan Cruyff from Dumoulin as he assesses his peformance: "I didn’t do my best TT but I also didn’t do my worst," he says. "I didn’t really do a mistake, but I would have liked to have been a bit faster but in the end, the result is all that counts and I did it."

Mikel Landa's snap assessment of his low-key showing in the time trial: "I think it was difficult but my time is quite good, what I expected. This was one of the time trials that worried me: short, flat and difficult. I thought I could have lost more time. I felt quite good. I’m a bit tired but quite happy with my result."

Of the GC contenders, only Domenico Pozzovivo fared worse than Landa, losing 47 seconds, but others had low-key showings. Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) will be disappointed to lose 33 seconds for instance. This is, after all, the man who won the Barolo time trial just two years ago.

Here's an overview of how some of the GC contenders fared:


Nibali will surely be satisfied to have put time into most of his principal rivals - but if Tom Dumoulin gets through the first week unscathed and if he can conjure up something similar in the Chiant time trial, he would surely enter the reckoning for the podium in Turin, despite his protestations that the GC is not a target. Like so much of the Giro, mind, that's all hypothetical at this point, and for now Dumoulin is happy to enjoy his moment in the pink on the podium.

Dumoulin's win is Giant-Alpecin's first of a 2016 campaign that began in such trying circumstances with the team's crash at their training camp in Calpe. Tobias Ludvigsson took fourth on today's stage and wears the white jersey of best young rider: "It’s really special to take the first win of the year for the team here in Holland," he says. "It’s a really good day for the whole team and also personally for myself to have the young jersey. I surprised myself a bit and I spent the day in the hot seat. It was a long day."

Vincenzo Nibali, who lost 19 seconds to Dumoulin, has declared himself pleased with his afternoon's work in the Netherlands. "I can be more than satisfied with how it’s gone. There’s always nervousness in the build-up to a Grand Tour and it’s nice to get it started," he says. "It was a very explosive time trial and I had to make a very big effort. The first part was very fast indeed, then you had a technical section and few longer straights into the wind. It’s one stage done and now we’ll think about what’s to come next."

Dumoulin, now in the pink jersey, talks some more about his victory: "It’s incredible, I almost can’t describe it in words. It’s better than I could have imagined to get the most beautiful jersey in cycling in front of my home crowd. I thought I did a good second part but Roglic was even faster so apparently I won it in the first part. To win by two-hundredths of a second is to win by a breath of air, really."

And, as he has been doing since last winter, Dumoulin downplays his prospects of wearing the maglia rosa in Turin three weeks from Sunday. "If I can keep this for 21 days, then I’ll do that but I don’t think I have the level to compete in the high mountains," he says. "I didn’t do an altitude training camp."


The full results, report and pictures from Apeldoorn will all be available here in due course.

available here.

Video highlights of today's stage are now available here.

Thanks for following our live coverage on Cyclingnews this afternoon. Our full report is now available here, and we'll have all the news and reaction from Apeldoorn in due course. And, as ever, we'll be back with more live coverage tomorrow, as the Giro gruppo faces the first road stage, 190 kilometres from Arnhem to Nijmegen. Only four Sundays to Turin...

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