Dumoulin takes Giro lead with opening time trial win


Tom Dumoulin claimed the pink jersey with victory in the first stage of the Giro d'Italia as Fabian Cancellara battled to eighth despite being struck by illness on the eve of the race.

The 2016 edition of the race began on Friday with a 9.8 kilometre time trial in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn. 

And there was a home winner for the fans in the Netherlands to celebrate as Giant-Alpecin rider Dumoulin claimed the win by the finest of margins.

Dumoulin came home in a time of 11 minutes and three seconds and won by 0.01secs from Slovenian LottoNL-Jumbo rider Primoz Roglic.

Movistar's Andrey Amador was six seconds off the pace in third with Dumoulin's team-mate Tobias Ludvigsson taking fourth ahead of Marcel Kittel of Etixx-QuickStep.

Swiss Cancellara was struck down with stomach flu and a fever on Thursday but recovered sufficiently enough to finish only 14 seconds adrift of Dumoulin.

Astana's Vincenzo Nibali - a winner in 2013 - was 19 seconds off the pace but the pre-race favourite fared better than a number of his presumed general classification rivals.

Movistar's Alejandro Valverde was a further five seconds back with Cannondale's Rigoberto Uran finishing 33 seconds down and Team Sky's Rafal Majka 38 seconds adrift of Dumoulin who - after taking second in the time trial at the Tour du Romandie on his way to a fifth place in the overall standings in the event - was pleased to have fortune on his side.

"It is a relief. I'm feeling sick in my stomach now but at the same time so happy," Dumoulin said. "I did it. Luck was on my side today, the luck I didn't have in Romandie. To have it paid back here in the Netherlands is very special.

"I didn't do my best time trial but I also didn't do my worst. I didn't really make a mistake, but I would have liked to have been a bit faster but in the end, the result is all that counts and I did it."

The race stays in the Netherlands for stage two with a 190 kilometre route from Arnhem to Nijmegen on Saturday.