The Australian takes the overall lead after comfortably winning the short opening time trial of the 2017 Tour de Suisse

Rohan Dennis (BMC) won the opening time trial stage of the Tour de Suisse, ahead of Stefan Küng (BMC) in second and Matthias Brändle (Trek-Segafredo) in third.

Dennis ran out as comfortable winner, as no rider came anywhere near the Australian’s superb time of 6-24.

His teammate Küng was next best a whole eight seconds slower, completing what was another great time trial for BMC following Richie Porte’s success in the time trial at the Critérium du Dauphiné earlier this week.

The performance is a very good omen going into the Tour de France, where the Dennis hopes to win the similar, albeit longer, opening time trial in Düsseldorf.

One of his main rivals there could be Brändle, whose third-place finish will have strengthened his case for selection.

At just 6.1km in length, the course was short enough to bring into contention sprint-specialist Michael Matthews (Sunweb), who put in a similar ride to the one that saw him win the prologue at Paris-Nice last year to finish fourth.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), however, was unable to capitalise on the shorter distance, despite going into the stage as among the favourites.

For once riding in his Bora-Hansgrohe team’s colours rather than in the world champion’s or points classification jersey, he finished well outside of the top-10.

Recently crowned Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) finished fifth.

It was an impressive time from the Dutchman considering how much three weeks racing for the pink jersey at the Giro will have taken out of him, and a sign that he may yet have enough reserves leftover to compete for overall victory here too.

Other riders intending to challenge for the GC, such as last year’s runner-up Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) and three-time winner Rui Costa (UAE Emirates) rode solidly enough to limit their losses and remain in overall contention come the mountains.

Irishman Ryan Mullan (Cannondale-Drapac) spent much of the day in the hot seat, having posted the best early time of 6-37.

He saw of challenges from the likes of 23-year old Steven Lammertink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Tejay van Garderen and local rider Martin Elmiger (both BMC), before Dennis finally ousted him.

Having followed success at under-23 level with a surprise fifth place in the senior time-trial world championships last autumn, this ride – which ultimately earned him eighth on the stage – is further proof that the 22-year old has a big future ahead of him.

Results

Tour de Suisse 2017, stage one: Cham – Cham (6km ITT)

1 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team, in 6-24
2 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team, at 8s
3 Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo, at 9s
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb, at 9s
5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb, at 9s
6 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team, at 11s
7 Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo, at 12s
8 Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac, at 13s
9 Steven Lammertink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo, at 14s
10 Martin Elmiger (Swi) BMC Racing Team, at 14s

Overall classification after stage one

1 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team, in 6-24
2 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team, at 8s
3 Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo, at 9s
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb, at 9s
5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb, at 9s
6 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team, at 11s
7 Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo, at 12s
8 Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac, at 13s
9 Steven Lammertink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo, at 14s
10 Martin Elmiger (Swi) BMC Racing Team, at 14s