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Covering the 9.6km course in 10.48, Dennis beat Van Emden by five seconds in the Eneco Tour time trial; Sütterlin was 14 seconds behind in a distant third place and Dennis is the new leader

Photo: A.S.O.

BINCKBANK TOUR

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JASHA SÜTTERLIN

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JOS VAN EMDEN

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ROHAN DENNIS

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20.09.2016 @ 17:28 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Rohan Dennis (BMC) confirmed that he is the best rider in the world in short, flat time trials when he rode to a dominant win in the 9.6km race against the clock on the second day at the Eneco Tour. Having stopped the clock in 10.48, he was five seconds faster than Jos Van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) while Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) was a massive 14 seconds behind in third. With the win, Dennis also moves into the overall lead.

 

In 2015, Rohan Dennis beat all the biggest specialists in the opening time trial at the Tour de France and so proved that he is the man to beat in short, flat time trials. That turned him into the pre-race favourite for today’s first big GC test at the Eneco Tour where the riders tackled a 9.6km TT around Breda.

 

The course was completely flat and without any major technical challenges and so it was tailor-made for Dennis. However, he still found himself up against Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) just like he did in the TT at the Tour of Britian where the trio was very close to each other.

 

However, this time no one was left with any doubts about who was the strongest rider in the race. Less than two weeks after taking second overall in Britain, Dennis again proved that he will be one of the big favourites for the World Championships in Qatar as he turned out to be in a class of his own on the short course in Breda.

 

Dennis was an early starter and after having caught world champion Vasil Kiryienka (Sky) – who was 45 seconds late for his final race in the rainbow jersey – he blasted across the line in 10.48. At that point, he was almost 20 seconds faster than Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale) and it was evident that his time would be hard to beat.

 

His first big rival was last year’s TT winner Jos Van Emden who also specializes in these short time trials. The Dutchman did well to finish just five seconds off the pace and that would ultimately be good enough to take second.

 

Dumoulin had a very bad day as he lost 20 seconds and ultimately finished 14th. Things weren’t much better for Martin who was just fractions of a second faster and had to settle for 13th.

 

When Martin had arrived, the rest of the starters were mainly sprinters and so Dennis only had to fear a select few riders. Surprisingly, his biggest rival turned out to be Jasha Sütterlin who posted a time of 11.02 to end the stage in third. Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) also did well to take fourth with 11.04 but no other rider finished within 15 seconds of Dennis’ time.

 

In addition to Dennis, Kelderman, Martin and Dumoulin who are both expected to be GC contenders, Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), Taylor Phinney (BMC), Ion Izagirre (ovistar) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale) all got their GC campaigns off to a good start by finishing in the top 15. However, the other big winner was probably Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) who only lost 17 seconds in 8th place and with his bonus seconds from yesterday’s stage, he now sits in third place.

 

Among the big losers were Michal Matthews, Lars Boom, Bob Jungels, Geriant Thomas Tim Wellens, Greg Van Avermaet and Edvald Boasson Hagen who all lost between 24 and 34 seconds and so has a lot of ground to make up in the team time trial and the road stages. As opposed to this, Marcel Kittel showed very good form as the sprinter finished 9th.

 

With the win, Dennis now takes the overall lead with a five-second advantage over Van Emden. He will try to defend his position in tomorrow’s third stage in Belgium. It is a completely flat affair and with no wind on the menu, it should be a day for the sprinters.

 

A flat course

After yesterday’s sprint stage, it was time for the first important GC stage on the second day. The crucial time trial was held on a 9.6km course in Breda and as there were barely any turns and the roads were completely flat, it was a perfect route for the big engines and the great specialists.

 

It was an excellent sunny day when Marco Coledan (Trek) rolled down the ramp as the first rider. He stopped the clock in 11.50 to take the early lead ad he stayed in the hot seat for four minutes before Alexander Edmondson (Orica-BikeExchange) went four seconds faster.

 

Best time for Kragh

The first rider to set a competitive time was Jack Bauer (Cannondale) as 11.15 was a massive 35 seconds faster than Edmondson’s. Roger Kluge (IAM) slotted into second with 11.20 and Robert Wagner (LottoNL-Jumbo) was 16 seconds slower in third place

 

Bauer was beaten when Søren Kragh Andersen (Giant-Alpecin) posted a time of 11.09 which was six seconds faster than the Kiwi. Specialists Michael Hepburn (Orica-BikeExchange) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) were almost a minute slower and had disappointing rides.

 

Dennis crushes the opposition

Kragh stayed on top of the leader board for more than 10 minutes until Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale) beat him by 2 seconds but it was world champion Vasil Kiryienka (Sky) that everybody waited for. However, the Belarusian turned up 45 seconds too late and so is time of 11.54 was far off the pace.

 

Dennis started just one minute behind Kiryienka and quickly passed the world champion before blasting across the line in 10.48 to beat Navardauskas by 19 seconds. Banoit Vaugrenard (FDJ) then made it into the top 10 with 11.27.

 

Disappointment for Jungels and Oliveira

Tom Bohli made it two BMC riders in the top 3 when he stopped the clock in 11.08 to slot into third and it became three riders from the team in the top 10 when Joey Rosskopf posted a time of 11.28. Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) was even faster with 11.21 and there was also a top 10 for Dries Devenyns (IAM) who posted a time of 11.25.

 

Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep) had expected to do better than 11.18 and there was also a top 10 for Iganatas Konovalovas (FDJ) who was just four seconds slower. The next threat for Dennis was Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) but his time of 11.10 was only good enough for fifth.

 

Bad day for Dumoulin

Manuel Quinziato (BMC) had certainly hoped to do better than 11.17 and instead it was Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin) who moved into sixth with 11.11. However, most had their eyes on Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) who again proved his class by slotting into second with 11.04.

 

The local fans were waiting for Tom Dumoulin to arrive but the Dutchman had a poor ride as 11.08 was only good enough for fourth. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was maybe even more disappointed as he lost 33 seconds with his time of 11.21.

 

Van Emden gets close

Last year’s time trial winner Jos van Emden gave Dennis his first scare but the Dutchman came up short, slotting into second with 10.53. Former winner Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) lost plenty of time as he could only manage 11.22.

 

Matthias Brändle (IAM) was the next threat and he got close with 11.03 which saw him move into third. Taylor Phinney (BMC) was just one second slower and moved into fourth place.

 

Izagirre stays in contention

Martin Elmiger (IAM) narrowly missed out on the top 10 with 11.11 before Ion Izagirre (Movistar) blasted across the line in 11.07 to slot into sixth. Niki Terpstra (Etix-QuickStep) were just two seconds slower but narrowly missed out on the top 10.

 

There was disappointment for Geraint Thomas (Sky), Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange) and Lars Boom who could only manage 11.20, 11.12 and 11.15 respectively. Defending champion Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) limited his losses well with 11.20.

 

Disappointment for Martin

Everybody had their eyes on Tony Martin but the German had a disappointing ride as 11.08 was only good enough for 8th. Fabio Felline (Trek) was not much slower as he posted a time of 11.12.

 

Stefan Küng (BMC) made it into 13th with 11.10 but it was another youngster who delivered a surprise. Jasha Sütterlin did his best TT since he turned pro when he stopped the clock in 11.02 to slot into third.

 

Great rides by Kittel and Sagan

Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff) was left disappointed with his time of 11.11 which was one second slower than Andriy Grivko (Astana) who slotted into 13th. Instead, it was Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) who became the next threat as the local hero stopped the clock in 11.03 to move into fourth.

 

Alex Dowsett (Movistar) was expected to be the final real threat for Dennis but the Brit had to settle for 8th with 11.06. However, Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) did even better as he posted a time of 11.05 to push him down one spot.

 

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) had a disappointing ride with 11.22 and so Dennis just had to fear Peter Sagan (Tinkoff). The world champion did well but 11.05 was only good enough for 8th. Dennis then had to wait for the final riders to arrive and when Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) had crossed the line in 85th, he could step onto the podium as the stage winner.

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