Hepburn time trials to 11th on the first stage of the Tour de Suisse

Sat 15 Jun 2019

The Tour of Suisse began with a short 9.5kilometre individual time trial today where Mitchelton-SCOTT rider Michael Hepburn powered into 11th place.

Many of the race favourites started in the first half of proceedings which was to their advantage after heavy rain poured down later on. World champion Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) proved to be the fastest on the day, winning the event to move into the overall race lead.

Early bench mark

As an early starter, Dennis spend almost the whole stage in the hot-seat after setting the early bench mark time of 10minutes 50seconds. 

The mostly flat course suited the powerful, strong riders with many riders coming close but nobody quite able to knock Dennis off the top step.

Time gains

The last few kilometres of the short effort was raced on a slight uphill drag, with many riders gaining or losing valuable time as it proved to be the most decisive area on the course.

Matteo Trentin was the team's next best placed rider finishing with a time, 20seconds down on the winner which was good enough for 22nd place.

Hepburn’s 11th place on the stage puts him into 11th place in the overall standing’s ahead of a lumpy 160kilometre first road stage tomorrow.

Michael Hepburn

“I think it was a good ride but to be honest I was hoping for a little more on the way back from the turnaround. The drag up to the line in the last few kilometres was where the differences were made and I couldn’t quite go as fast as I wanted to there. 

“Some rain came in later on which for sure affected the last guys and that’s the reason all the TT specialists and GC guys chose to race earlier.”

Tour de Suisse - Stage 1 ITT Results:

1. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) 10:50
2. Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) 
3. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) +0:01
11. Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:14

General Classification after stage 1:

1. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) 10:50
2. Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
3. Michael Matthews  (Team Sunweb) +0:01
11. Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:14

Photo courtesy of Getty Images