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Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia stage 1: Remco Evenepoel destroys competition, takes pink jersey

Belgian TT champion finishes 22 seconds up on Filippo Ganna, Primož Roglič loses 43 seconds.

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Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) sent a serious warning shot to his rivals as he demolished the opening time trial of the Giro d’Italia to take the win and claim the first pink jersey of the three weeks.

Decked out in his Belgian champion’s skinsuit, Evenepoel came out of the traps quickly. By the first time check he already had a 21-second advantage and he continued to build it as the ride went on, eventually stopping the clock in a time of 21:18 on the 19.6km course.

Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) did his best to keep Evenepoel within touching distance, but still lost some 22 seconds to him to finish runner-up. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) got his GC campaign off to a solid start with third place at 29 seconds behind Evenepoel.

Meanwhile, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) suffered a difficult day on the TT bike and ended the day 43 seconds behind Evenepoel.

The opening time trial of the Giro was contested across an 19.6km course between Fossacesia and Ortona. Most of the route was pan-flat before an undulating climb to the finish line.

U.S. star Brandon McNulty, who set off in the middle of the group, briefly held the fastest time after a strong ride. However, he was knocked off the top spot when teammate Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates) crossed the line 20 minutes later, having set the fastest times at the two intermediate checks.

The times kept tumbling with the strongest time trialists packed into the second half of the stage. Less than 10 minutes later, Teo Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) put in a blistering ride up the final climb and brought the quickest time down by six seconds to 21:58.

João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) took another 10 seconds out of the top time to give himself a good start in the GC, but the biggest names and TT favorites were still to come.

Evenepoel was the first of the major pre-stage favorites to roll down the ramp and he set an ominously fast time at the first intermediate, going 21 seconds quicker than the previous quickest time. His time was quickly put into perspective with Roglič losing 27 seconds at the first check, and Ganna giving away 12 seconds.

Trek-Segafredo rider Daan Houle started a minute ahead of Evenepoel and he was already caught before the final climb. The Soudal Quick-Step rider continued to destroy the clock and had 33 seconds on Almeida at the second time check.

Roglič, on the other hand, continued to give away time to those around and he was over 40 seconds behind the Belgian going into that final climb, while Ganna was limiting his losses at 15 seconds.

Evenepoel gave away a little bit of time on the climb to the finish but still beat Almeida by 30 seconds. Meanwhile, Roglič managed to gather himself somewhat and hold the deficit over the ascent.

Ganna beat Almeida but couldn’t get anywhere near Evenepoel and finished 22 seconds back from the Belgian champion.

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