Tour de Suisse stage 1: Dennis edges time trial win
World time trial champion takes leader's jersey over Maciej Bodnar and Michael Matthews.
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Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) won the opener of Tour de Suisse, taking his first win since joining Bahrain-Merida. Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) came second, and Michael Matthews (Sunweb) came third.
“I’m pretty happy it’s been a long time between wins, since September last year so to get that monkey off my back is a good feeling,” said Dennis. “It installs a little bit more confidence in my ability to win no matter what equipment I’m on.”
The nine-stage race kicked off with a 9.5km time trial in Langnau, on a totally flat course with minimal technical features.
Bodnar was one of the first down the ramp, and set the benchmark with a time of 10:50. However, he was ousted shortly afterward by Dennis, who came in on the same time.
Matthews finished shortly after Dennis, two seconds back at 10:52, moving him into third. With that, the podium places remained unchanged for the rest of the day.
Geraint Thomas (Ineos) was one of the first GC men to set off, and initially was on par with Dennis, though he faded in the second half, finishing in 11:07, 17 seconds down. His teammate Egan Bernal rode strongly to finish in 11:13.
Fabio Aru (UAE-Team Emirates) posted a time of 11:20, 30 seconds back, a strong sign of recovery following the surgery that had prevented him from starting this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Of the remaining GC contenders, Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) finished 43 seconds down, and Rui Costa (UAE-Team Emirates) finished 37 seconds back.
Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) finished seventh on the stage, seven seconds down.
Stage 2, Sunday, is a hilly circuit that will likely see the leader’s jersey change hands.
Results will be available once stage has completed.