Dutchman Danny van Poppel claims time trial win in Australia as British squad JLT Condor places three riders in top 10

Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) won the Jayco Herald Sun Tour prologue time trial on Wednesday, with British team JLT Condor providing second and third placed riders.

The short 2.1-kilometre opening test against the clock in Melbourne suited Dutch sprinter van Poppel’s turn of speed, and he came home with a time of two minutes 32.6 seconds to take the early overall race lead. It is both van Poppel’s and Team Sky’s first victory of the season.

Continental team JLT-Condor started strongly against the WorldTour big hitters, with Australian Brenton Jones and New Zealander Alex Frame both finishing one second adrift of van Poppel to place second and third. British rider Ian Bibby gave JLT its third top 10 spot in eighth.

Defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) put in a solid ride in the event, which stipulated that riders must use regular road bikes rather than TT-specific machines. Froome finished in 26th place, seven seconds down on team-mate van Poppel.

Welshman Luke Rowe (Team Sky) placed just outside the top 10 in 11th place.

“I was focused to win it and nothing else,” said van Poppel after the stage. “I’ve done it and I’m really happy because you’re always searching for the first victory of the team and for myself and I’m happy that I did it.

“It’s good but I hope I can give it to Chris tomorrow. It will be nice if tomorrow is a nice day for Chris and the team so we’ll go full for him.”

>>> Chris Froome ready for face-off with Esteban Chaves at Herald Sun Tour

The 2017 Jayco Herald Sun Tour continues on Thursday with the first road stage, a 174.2-kilometre trip from Wangaratta to Falls Creek.

It will be the first chance for those with general classification aspirations – including Froome and rival Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) – to show their hand, as the stage features a long climb to the line.

Result

Jayco Herald Sun Tour 2017, prologue: Melbourne to Melbourne, 2.1km
1. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky, in 2-32
2. Breton Jones (Aus) JLT Condor, at 1 sec
3. Alex Frame (NZl) JLT Condor, at 1 sec
4. Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-Scott, at 2 secs
5. Leigh Howard (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport, at 3 secs
6. Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness, at 3 secs
7. Jesse Kerrison (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness, at 3 secs
8. Ian Bibby (GBr) JLT Condor, at 4 secs
9. Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare, at 4 secs
10. Cameron Bayly (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness, at 4 secs
Other
11. Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky, at 4 secs
26. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, at 7 secs

General classification after prologue
1. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky, in 2-32
2. Breton Jones (Aus) JLT Condor, at 1 sec
3. Alex Frame (NZl) JLT Condor, at 1 sec
4. Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-Scott, at 2 secs
5. Leigh Howard (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport, at 3 secs
6. Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness, at 3 secs
7. Jesse Kerrison (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness, at 3 secs
8. Ian Bibby (GBr) JLT Condor, at 4 secs
9. Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare, at 4 secs
10. Cameron Bayly (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness, at 4 secs