Ian Wilkinson of SIS-Trek has won the opening stage of the Bikeline Two-Day.

Wilkinson set the quickest time on the 1.6-kilometre uphill time trial in Hope as the 2008 Premier Calendar season got underway in North Wales.

He was second in the time trial stage behind Chris Newton last year, but went one better this time to take the leader’s orange jersey into this afternoon’s 56-kilometre circuit stage.

Dean Downing of Rapha-Condor-Recycling.co.uk is an ominous presence in second place, though, considering the pre-race assertion by his team manager John Herety that the men in black would seek to make it hard on both road stages.

1. Ian Wilkinson (SIS-Trek) in 2min 50.22sec
2. Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor-Recycling.co.uk) at 2sec
3. Simon Richardson (Plowman Craven) at 3sec
4. Russell Downing (Pinarello) at 4sec
5. Tom Barras (Plowman Craven) at 4sec
6. Freddy Johansson (Pinarello) at 6sec
7. Simon Gaywood (Plowman Craven) at 7sec
8. Richard Kent (SIS-Trek) at 8sec
9. Evan Oliphant (Plowman Craven) at 10sec
10. Kristian House (Rapha-Condor-Recycling.co.uk) at 11sec

Stage 2: Oliphant wins it for Plowman Craven
The Big Preview: Bikeline Two-Day