Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) won the stage three time trial at the 2014 Eneco Tour, posting a time two seconds quicker than runner-up Fabian Cancellara (Trek).
The Dutch rider also moves to second overall behind Lars Boom (Belkin), whose ninth place finish was enough to take the leader’s jersey from Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who himself slips to fifth.
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Dumoulin impressed at the Tour de France last month by finishing second place in the final time trial, and today further enhanced his burgeoning reputation by defeating an on-form Cancellara.
Geraint Thomas (Sky) also impressed with third place finish 10 seconds behind Dumoulin, and climbs into sixth overall. He now looks like Sky’s best hope to challenge for the win, after Edvald Boasson Hagen conceded yet more time today.
Britain’s Steve Cummings (BMC) also put in a good ride to finish sixth, and held the held the lead for a while earlier in the day until his time was bettered by New Zealand’s Jesse Sergent (Trek), who went on to finish fifth. Alex Dowsett (Movistar) may be a little disappointed with his time, however, as he finished down in 15th.
Others to enjoy good rides included Manuel Quinziato (BMC) and Andriy Grivko (Astana), who move up to fourth and fifth respectively. Quinziato also has Philippe Gilbert handily placed in 10th on GC after he limited his losses, which will provide BMC with a two-pronged attack going into the final few stages.
In a similar position is Omega Pharma-QuickStep, for whom Niki Terpstra rode well to move into seventh overall, just six seconds behind Stybar. Belkin may have Boom in the lead, but their other riders were less successful – Sep Vanmarcke slid from third to ninth overall, and Bauke Mollema – who suffered a similarly calamitous time trial at the Tour – lost 1-15 and fell out of overall contention.
Sky may not have so many cards to play as these teams, but Thomas is arguably the strongest all-rounder within touching distance of Boom. If he shows his best form, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist will fancy his chances of winning the overall.
Eneco Tour 2014, stage three: Breda to Breda 9.6km ITT
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Shimano in 10-55
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing at 2 secs
4. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing at 14 secs
5. Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory Racing at 15 secs
6. Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing at 17 secs
7. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 17 secs
8. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale at 18 secs
10. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing at 20 secs
15. Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar at 24 secs
26. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Sharp at 33 secs
56. Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky at 46 secs
89. Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky at 59 secs
Overall classification after stage three
1. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin in 8-31-54
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Shimano at 4 secs
3. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing at 4 secs
4. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 7 secs
5. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step at 12 secs
6. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky at 14 secs
7. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 18 secs
8. Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale at 19 secs
9. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin at 21 secs
10. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing at 21 secs