The roar of the crowd when their fellow Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) rolled down the ramp showed who they wanted to win, and he didn't disappoint...just. 

Dumoulin's team-mate Tobias Ludvigsson warmed up the hot seat until 94 riders later, former ski jumper Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) posted a time of 11 minutes and 3 seconds, around 53.2 km/h. 

It was the mark to aim for and Dumoulin hit it dead on finishing in equal time.Dumoulin pipped Roglic by a mere 0.022 seconds. 

Roglic's team-mate, Jos Van Emden, touted as an outside favourite for the prologue crashed on a corner, skulking towards the line visually sore. Stefan Kung (BMC) fell on the same corner but battled on to finish an admirable 33rd. 

Mikel Landa (Sky) finished with a time of 11 minutes 43 seconds, losing 21 seconds to Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on a short prologue. Landa will need to do all he can to contain his losses come stage 9 and its 40km time trial. 

“It sounds like I’ve made a few people happy today, hearing all the people who were shouting my name after I won, but mostly I made myself happy. It’s a very emotional moment. It’s a crazy feeling.

“In cycling, plans usually don’t work. I really meant it when I said that it would be hard to win this time trial. I knew that Primoz Roğlic had set a good time. When I crossed the line, I thought I was three seconds ahead of him, but we were actually on the same time.” - Tom Dumoulin

Dumoulin’s victory comes after two second places at the Tour of Romandie, in the prologue and the first stage, and four second places finishes in a row at Paris-Nice.

“I’ve felt frustrated on a few occasions this year with second places in time trials but luck was on my side this time. It doesn’t matter if I win by a hundredth of a second, one second or ten seconds. It’s an important step in my career,” said the 25-year-old.

“I didn’t grow up in a cycling environment but I’ve learned enough about the history of cycling to understand the meaning of the pink jersey. I hope I still have it when we arrive in Italy but it will be hard to keep it against the sprinters who will fight for time bonuses. However I’ll do my best to wear the pink jersey in this beautiful country.”

Stage two is 190km from Arnhem to Nijmegen. It includes a short 1.1km climb, with a gradient of up to 11 per cent, before finishing with two laps of an 8.6km city circuit. Wind is likely to be a major factor along the route.

“The weather forecast is good for the next two days and I believe a lot of people will be out on the road to cheer me on,” said Dumoulin, who is looking forward to wearing the maglia rosa in front of a home crowd.

“It’s very special to be in this position in the Netherlands."

Saturday 7 May 2016

Primoz Roglic was 0.022 of a second shy of a major upset in the opening time trial of the Giro d’Italia. The Slovenian Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider finished his time trial in 11 minutes and 3 seconds and was provisionally the fastest for a long time. Until Dumoulin beat him by a hair.

“I didn’t even dream about winning this time trial,” said Roglic, a ski jumper from 2003-2011.

“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.”

Sports Director Addy Engels was not expecting Roglic to put in such a ride.

“We weren’t counting on a Primoz win at all,” he said. “He said that he was feeling stronger than ever, but we don’t know that much about Primoz at the moment, so nobody knew what that meant.

“We know now, and it makes it even more painful that he didn’t win. He delivered the time trial of his life, but doesn’t have the pink jersey.”

  • Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 11:22 
  • Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) 11:25 (+3 seconds to Nibali)
  • Alejandre Valverde (Movistar) 11:27 (+5 seconds to Nibali)
  • Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEdge) 11:33 (+11 seconds to Nibali)
  • Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) 11:35 (+13 seconds to Nibali)
  • Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) 11:36 (+14 seconds to Nibali)
  • Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) 11:41 (+19 seconds to Nibali)
  • Mikel Landa (Sky) 11:43  (+21 seconds from Nibali)