Giro 2018 Stage 1: Dumoulin starts as number 1 and ends in pink

Tom Dumoulin started the 101st Giro the same way as he finished the 100th edition – popping prosecco on the top step of the podium clad in pink! Resplendent in rainbows the World Time Trial Champion mastered the twisty, lumpy parcours, to finish two seconds faster than long-time leader Rohan Dennis. Victor Campenaerts fought his body, bike and the clock all the way to the line to finish just a sliver of a second slower in third. Chris Froome was among the riders who crashed heavily during the reconnaissance of the course in the morning and finished 37 seconds off the pace.

Rider of the Race

Tip of the hat to the podium trio. Dumoulin’s ride was good to see, given we didn’t know much about his form coming into the race. Dennis laid down the power in that smooth as silk way he does and looked very comfortable in the hot seat until the last ride of the day. I don’t think I’ll forget the sight of Campenaerts full effort drive for the line. However, my Rider of the Race award – the first of the Giro 21 up for grabs – goes to Quickstepper Giro debutant Max Schachmann.

After a 2017 dogged by injuries, 2018 is certainly one that makes the 24-year-old German smile for joy – after he’s finished gasping for breath, of course. First professional win at the Vuelta a Catalunya, a leading role at Fleche Wallonne and now a blitzing ride to finish eighth to take the top step of the Young Rider podium time at his first ever Grand Tour.

The course was up and down, very hard for the first day of a race. After passing through the intermediate, Davide Bramati [Quick Step DS] told me I was the fastest there. At that moment, I was already beginning to feel tired, but I pushed myself and ignored the pain. It’s always tricky to find the right balance between riding on the limit and not going over it, but I think I managed well the situation.

It all went wrong on the recon

Chris Froome and Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez had a less than ideal start to their Giro campaigns after crashing in the morning recon of the course. Both were able to take the start gate but the cuts and abrasions suffered surely impacted their performances. Froome trails Dumoulin by 37secs with Lopez at +56secs.

I just lost the front wheel in a corner. I was testing a corner at race speed, at around 20 or 30kph. Chris Froome from the team race report .

Kanstantsin Siutsou (Bahrain-Merida) was not so lucky. The recent winner of the Tour of Croatia and a vital mountain lieutenant for Domenico Pozzovivo fractured a vertebrae and will fly home without turning a pedal stroke on this year’s edition. We hope he recovers well.

GC favourites roundup

An on-form Dumoulin was always going to gain time on terrain that suited him. However, there are some big time gaps between the GC hopefuls after just 9.7km. I’d say Simon Yates is going to sleep with a huge smile on his face. Movistar fans must be agog with surprise [God knows I am! – ed]. Some will be breathing a sigh of relief that they limited their losses while others will be wondering how they lost so much time in so few kilometres.

Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott) +20secs

Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) +27secs

Carlos Betancur (Movistar) +28secs

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +33secs

Chris Froome (Sky) +37secs

Davide Formolo (BORA-hansgrohe) +40secs

Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton Scott) +46secs

Fabio Aru (UAE-Emirates) +50secs

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +57secs

Michael Woods (EF Drapac) +1:02

Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data)+1:08

Tweet of the day

I’d love it if Tom was eating fish and chips here

Stage results

1 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) 12:02

2 Rohan Dennis (BMC) +0:02

3 Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Fix All) same time

4 Jose Goncalves (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:12

5 Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:16

GC Top 5

1 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) 12:02

2 Rohan Dennis (BMC) +0:02

3 Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Fix All) same time

4 Jose Goncalves (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:12

5 Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:16

All the jerseys

Embed from Getty Images

Leader’s jersey: Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb)

Points jersey: Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb)

KOM jersey: Not awarded

Best young rider: Max Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors)

For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News  

Header Image:  Tom Dumoulin LUK BENIES/AFP/Getty Images

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