He finished the 2017 edition of the race in pink, and last night picked up where he left off – team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin has secured victory in the opening time trial of the Giro D’Italia in Jerusalem.
But only just. Aussie powerhouse Rohan Dennis finished just 2-seconds behind taking overall second.
The reigning world time trial champion, Dumoulin completed the 9.7km city course in 12 minutes and 2 seconds.
“I knew that I felt good but you have to see how things go during the race,” he said, hinting at his desire for back to back overall wins.
“We’ve worked really hard over the last few months, so I’m really happy with the win because it confirms that all of the work has paid off. The course was really good for me; it was really technical and I’m good on the corners.”
Dumoulin said while it was “nice to be in the Maglia Rosa, it will be hard to keep it for three weeks.”
“We aren’t planning on defending it every day so we will see what we do with that in the coming days,” he said.
Rohan Dennis Australian time trial champion, said it was difficult to get a rhythm and the course was challenging.
“I would have liked the roads to be a bit smoother but you can’t have everything,” he said.
“I did everything I could and the only way I can judge how I rode is my position at the end of the day. I was pretty relaxed until the last half an hour of the race. I knew Tom was going to be the big rival today and he proved that by taking the win. There were a few other riders that I was surprised about. There was nothing I could have done better today. I was just beaten by the better guy.”
The 2018 Giro continues with two more stages in Israel prior to a rest day for transfers to Sicily.
1 – Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:12:02
2 – Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
3 – Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal