Stefan Bissegger powers to time trial victory and overall lead on stage three of UAE Tour

Swiss rouleur beats world time trial champion Filippo Ganna by seven seconds

Stefan Bissegger
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stefan Bissegger of EF Education-EasyPost triumphed on the flat time trial course on stage three of the UAE Tour, beating world champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) by seven seconds.

The Swiss rider won his team's first victory of the season over the 9km course in Ajman with a time of 9:43, meaning he rode at an average of 55.574 km/h. He has taken the leader's jersey as a result. Behind him, Ganna was defeated in a time trial for the first time this season.

They were followed on the podium by Tom Dumoulin of Jumbo-Visma, the Dutchman coming in as first of the general classification hopefuls, 14 seconds behind. He was four seconds ahead of Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates), who won the race last year.

Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) wore the red leader's jersey on Tuesday after coming first on stage one and second on stage two, but despite a valiant ride, he came in 28 seconds behind Bissegger and thus lost control of the race.

GC riders like Dumoulin and Pogačar did not gain too much time on rivals such as Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe), and the climb to Jebel Jais should prove a tougher test for those aiming for the overall.

How it happened

Artyom Zakharov of Astana-Qazaqstan was the first rider down the start ramp on Tuesday afternoon, but given his previous best result in a WorldTour time trial was 83rd at the Tour of California in 2017, he never looked like posting too competitive a time, and finished in 10:45.

The first rider who could lay a claim to being a favourite was Mikkel Bjerg, the Danish UAE-Team Emirates rider who won the under-23 time trial world title three times. The 23-year old posted a time of 10:07

He was followed by Vlasov, who is an overall contender at the UAE Tour following his victory at Valenciana earlier this month. The Kazakh came in an agonising one second behind Bjerg, so he remained in the hot seat.

Bissegger started reasonably early in proceedings, and posted the fastest time at the intermediate check in 4:26, benefiting from the tail wind on the first half of the course to ride at 60.902 km/h. The EF rider overtook the man who started a minute ahead of him along the way to finishing in the fastest time of 9:43.

He would remain in the hot seat for the rest of the stage, as riders like João Almeida (UAE-Team Emirates) and Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) briefly looked like threatening. However, all eyes were on Ganna when he started, hard to miss in the rainbow stripes of world champion and on his Azzurri-blue bike.

The Ineos powerhouse was just a second behind Bissegger at the first time check, but lost six more on the return run, meaning his Swiss rival tasted victory.

Results

UAE Tour 2022, stage three: Ajman to Ajman

1. Stefan Bissegger (Sui) EF Education-EasyPost, in 9-43
2. Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers, at 7s
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 14s
4. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE-Team Emirates, at 18s
5. João Almeida (Por) UAE-Team Emirates, at 22s
6. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE-Team Emirates, at 24s
7. Stefan de Bod (RSA) Astana Qazaqstan, at 24s
8. Aleksandr Vlasov (Kaz) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 25s
9. Johan Price-Pejtersen (Den) Bahrain-Victorious, at 26s
10. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin Fenix, at 28s

General classification after stage three

1. Stefan Bissegger (Sui) EF Education-EasyPost, in 9-13-02
2. Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers, at 7s
3. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin Fenix, at 12s
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 14s
5. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE-Team Emirates, at 18s
6. João Almeida (Por) UAE-Team Emirates, at 22s
7. Stefan de Bod (RSA) Astana Qazaqstan, at 24s
8. Aleksandr Vlasov (Kaz) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 25s
9. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost, at 28s
10. Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 29s

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Hello, I'm Cycling Weekly's senior news and features writer. I love road racing first and foremost, but my interests spread beyond that. I like sticking to the tarmac on my own bike, however.


Before joining the team here I wrote for Procycling for almost two years, interviewing riders and writing about racing.


Prior to covering the sport of cycling, I wrote about ecclesiastical matters for the Church Times and politics for Business Insider. I have degrees in history and journalism.