Or is that other Dutchman, Jos van Emden, going to surprise? In the Tirreno-Adriatico’s ITT he finished second on a pan-flat course of 10 kilometres, while Dennis took the flowers. By then, Dumoulin already crashed out of the race, so the World Champion did not compete.
Pocketing three ITT’s this year, Dennis is in fine form. He won the Australian Championship and took the time trials in the Abu Dhabi Tour and Tirreno. Furthermore, the 27-year old Aussie has a knack for besting the Dutch specialists when it hurts the most. He took the first yellow jersey in the 2015 Tour de France, which started with an ITT in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Tony Martin came in second, and Dumoulin and Van Emden were fourth and fifth.
Martin is also competing in Italy, yet his best days as a time triallist seem to be over. Last year, he won only one race – the German Championship.
The last time that the Giro opened with an ITT was in 2016. On home-soil – Apeldoorn – Dumoulin powered to the pink jersey on a 9.6 kilometres course, although the margin with which he outperformed Primoz Roglic was next to nothing – 0.02 second. Dennis did not participate in that edition.
Favourites 1st stage 2018 Giro d’Italia
*** Rohan Dennis, Tom Dumoulin, Jos van Emden
** Chris Froome, Tony Martin, Vasil Kiryienka, Ryan Mullen, Wout Poels
* Alex Dowsett, David de la Cruz, Maximilian Schachmann, Victor Campenaerts
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