Luke Plapp had to complete the 9km time trial in Ajman on stage three of the UAE Tour on a road bike, after crashing his time trial bike in the recon.
The Australian's crash caused a mechanical issue his Ineos Grenadiers team couldn't fix in time, leaving him at a disadvantage throughout the time trial. Consequently, he ended up finishing 102nd on the third stage, 1-16 behind eventual winner Steffan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost).
The Swiss rider completed the 9km course in 9-43, meaning he averaged 55.574km/h on his way to victory. His performance also secured his team's first win of the season, while Bissegger has also taken the leader's jersey too.
Meanwhile, Plapp's Ineos team-mate Filippo Ganna secured second-place on the time trial stage, seven seconds behind Bissegger. With changeable weather conditions affecting all of the riders at various stages, Ganna seemed in positive spirits from his performance.
“I did a great performance," Ganna said. "The average power was more than the plan and at the end of the day, chapeau Bissegger. That’s a great ride.
“I felt good and also for the next few days, I’ll be ready to help Adam [Yates], starting on tomorrow’s climb.”
Yates himself finished 12th on stage three, moving him into the top 10 of the GC ahead of the first mountain stage of the race tomorrow. The Briton admits his final result surprised him, but he is eager for the race to start opening up, beginning tomorrow with 181km fourth stage from Fujairah Fort to Jebel Jais.
“It didn’t feel like a good ride," Yates admitted. "The first TT of the year is always super hard. I followed the plan and did all I could do.
“It’s the first mountain stage tomorrow but it’s not super hard - last year there was a group of 30 at the finish. It’s the second mountain stage that will create the biggest gaps - but it’s the first mountain stage of the year and we’ll give it a crack.”
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