Team Sunweb won the opening team time trial of the Giro Rosa, taking the top step of the podium ahead of Mitchelton-Scott and Boels-Dolmans.
The UCI World Champion TTT team completed the 15.5 kilometre course in Verbania in 18 minutes 24 seconds, just 1s ahead of Mitchelton-Scott; Boels-Dolmans were 12s adrift.
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The first Sunweb rider to cross the line was former World champion time triallist and reigning Dutch national champion, Ellen van Dijk who goes into the second stage – a 120km route starting and finishing in Ovada – wearing the maglia rosa.
“It’s a bit of a double feeling, I’m super happy we won this as a team but it feels a little weird to get the jersey” she said, adding “it was a great feeling to win the prologue with this team.”
“We had a very clear plan and I think almost everything went according to plan. And I think that’s what you really need here to win this race. It was a super fast and demanding course, you know you cannot make any mistakes here.”
Sunweb came to the Giro Rosa in search of stage wins, opting not to bring a GC contender within its roster of Lucinda Brand, Ellen van Dijk, Leah Kirchmann, Juliette Labous, Liane Lippert, Julia Soek and Ruth Winder.
Coach Hans Timmermans said: “This year’s Giro is very hard, but also interesting for a team like ours. We come with a strong squad and can play a lot of cards for good stage results.”
The top ten in the prologue featured two British squads – Wiggle High5 in seventh, 39s behind the winners and relative new comers Trek-Drops also snuck in at 10th just 1-18 down.
Stage two is a hilly day, featuring a 6km climb just 2km into the route. There are undulations throughout, however from the 25km to go mark it’s pretty much flat.
Any breakaway rider, or riders, will have to work hard to fend the peloton off over the closing stages – and it’s more likely that we’ll see a bunch sprint.
You can catch the highlights on PMG sports here or see today’s action on Eurosport 1 on Saturday July 7 at 20:30-21:15.
Giro Rosa, stage one: 15km TTT from Verbania
1 Team Sunweb 18-24
2 Mitchelton-Scott at 1s
3 Boels Dolmans Cycling Team at 12s
4 Cervelo-Bigla at 22s
5 Canyon-SRAM at 26s
6 WaowDeals Pro Cycling at 35s
7 Wigle-High5 at 39s
8 Movistar Women at 1-11
9 FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope at 1-13
10 Trek-Drops at 1-18
Classifications after stage one:
General Classification: Ellen Van Dijk (Team Sunweb)
Points: Sarah Roy (Mitchelton – Scott)
Mountains: Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels Dolmans Cycling)
Best young rider: Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb)
Best Italian rider: Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM Racing)