Filippo Ganna continues his unbeaten run in the time trials after an amazing ride on stage two of the UAE Tour, where he put 14 seconds into the next man Stefan Bissegger.
Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) was the only rider to get a time under 14 minutes with an incredible time of 13-56.
In the battle for the overall title, defending champion Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) lost time to his fellow GC rivals.
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) took the leader’s jersey ahead of João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) by five seconds, with Yates an extra 34 seconds back.
How it happened
The day started with the news that Alpecin-Fenix had left the race, after taking stage one with Mathieu van der Poel, due to a positive Covid-19 test within the team.
Stage two was a plan-flat, high-speed 13km individual time trial run on a purpose-built cycling track, just outside Abu Dhabi, with the city looming over the riders in the distance.
It was Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) who set the first fast time with a 14-17 and the Danish rider held on until Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) came through with a 14-10.
The young Swiss rider stayed top for the vast majority of the stage, holding off the likes of British talents Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation), Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) and Harry Tanfield (Qhubeka-Assos) among others.
Among the general classification contenders, Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) set a 14-54 as he looks to defend his title, Neilson Powless (EF Education-Nippo) went a second faster with Italian Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) setting a 14-35.
Pogačar set an amazing time of 14-20 with Almeida also coming in with a superb ride, but losing out on the overall lead with a 14-26, just five seconds behind the Slovenian.
Tour de France champion Pogačar put 34 seconds into Yates meaning the British rider starts stage three at 39 seconds.
But it was Ganna who powered around the course and stole the show, the only rider who was able to dip under the 14 minute mark as he continues his unbeaten run in the time trial discipline, which started in the Italian national TT in August 2020.
UAE Tour stage two ITT, Al Hudayriat Island – Al Hudayriat Island (13km)
1. Filippo Ganna (ITA) Ineos Grenadiers, in 13-56
2. Stefan Bissegger (SUI) EF Education-Nippo, at 14 seconds
3. Mikkel Bjerg (DEN) UAE Team Emirates, at 21s
4. Tadej Pogačar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates, at 24s
5. Luis León Sanchez (ESP) Astana-Premier Tech, at 30s
6. João Almeida (POR) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at same time
7. Max Walscheid (GER) Team Qhubeka-Assos, at 32s
8. Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech, at 33s
9. Daniel Martínez (COL) Ineos Grenadiers, at 36s
10. Matthias Brändle (AUT) Israel Start-Up Nation, at 38s.
General classification after stage two
1. Tadej Pogačar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates, in 4-00-05
2. João Almeida (POR) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 5 seconds
3. Mattias Cattaneo (ITA) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 18s
4. Chris Harper (AUS) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 33s
5. Adam Yates (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers, at 39s
6. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo, at 41s
7. Anthony Roux (FRA) Groupama-FDJ, at 45s
8. David Dekker (NED) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 46s
9. Michael Mørkøv (DEN) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 47s
10. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (DEN) Trek-Segafredo, at 48s.