Solid start to the 99th Giro d’Italia for ORICA-GreenEDGE

Fri 6 May 2016

Strong performances for ORICA-GreenEDGE from Damien Howson, Michael Hepburn and Canadian Svein Tuft in the stage one individual time trial provided a solid start to the 2016 Giro d’Italia for the Australian team.

Esteban Chaves produced a fantastic ride on the completely flat 9.8kilometre course, posting a time of eleven minutes 33seconds ensuring a positive to start to the race for the 2015 Tour of Abu Dhabi winner. Chaves sits in 33rd position after stage one gaining a small but possibly important advantage on some of his rivals for the general classification.

The stage was won by Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) with a time of eleven minutes and three seconds. Both Howson and Hepburn were only twenty seconds behind the Dutchman and finished in 17th and 19th place respectively.

Sport director Matt White was pleased with how the day unfolded for the team.

“It was definitely a good day for us,” said White. “Esteban (Chaves) produced an excellent ride over a course that doesn’t naturally suit his strengths. Today was a flat day for the big powerful riders not the smaller climbers which makes Esteban's result very impressive."

“To be in front of the vast majority of general classification competitors and just behind the big favourites is a really good start to the race for us.”

“Seconds do matter in a grand tour, they can be all important,” explained White. “Today’s performance gives Esteban and the team a lot of confidence going into the rest of the race, in particular the individual time trial in Chianti on stage ten.”

How it happened:

A beautiful sunny day welcomed the riders and the crowds to the start of the 2016 Giro d’Italia in Apeldoorn. The start ramp for the 9.8kilometre individual time trial was housed inside the Apeldoorn velodrome and the first rider away for ORICA-GreenEDGE was Canadian Tuft posting a time of eleven minutes 29seconds.

The best early time was set by Matthias Brandle (IAM-Cycling) posting eleven minutes 17seconds. However his time in the hot seat was brief as Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin) flew around the course in eleven minutes 11seconds with an average speed of 52kph for the pan flat course.

Ludvigsson and Brandle occupied the provisional first and second places for the next hour and a half with Tuft sitting in fifth. The situation changed when Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) recorded a time of eleven minutes and three seconds followed by Andrey Amador (Movistar) who came home six seconds slower than Roglic.

Former under-23 world time trial champion Howson produced an excellent ride of eleven minutes 22seconds which looked good enough to seal a top twenty placing for the young South Australian.

Dumoulin crossed the line only fractions of a second quicker than Roglic and moved into the number one spot with eleven minutes and three seconds.

Multiple track world champion Hepburn was the last rider off the ramp and finished 20seconds down on Dumoulin but the second rider in the top twenty for ORICA-GreenEDGE with a time of eleven minutes 23seconds.

Pre race favourite Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) finished fourteen seconds off the pace and Dumoulin held on to take the stage one victory and the race leader's pink jersey.

Tomorrow's stage two covers 190kilometres from Arnhem to Nijmegen and includes a predominantly flat parcours which could favour the sprinters.

Giro d’Italia stage one ITT results:

1. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) 00:11:03
2. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) ST
3. Andrey Amador (Movistar) 00:00:06
17. Damien Howson (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:19 

General classification after stage one:

1. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) 00:11:03
2.  Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) ST
3.  Andrey Amador (Movistar) 00:00:06
17. Damien Howson (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:19