Remco Evenepoel claims pink jersey with very good time-trial victory

World champion Remco Evenepoel claimed the pink jersey on day one of many Giro d’Italia with an excellent victory within the time-trial opening stage.

The 23-year-old Belgian (Soudal-QuickStep) bought via the 19.6 kilometres from Fossacesia Marina to Ortona in a time of 21 minutes and 18 seconds.

That was 22 seconds higher than second-placed Filippo Ganna of Italy, whose British Ineos Grenadiers team-mates Tao Geoghegan Hart and Geraint Thomas have been 40 and 55 seconds again, coming fourth and ninth respectively.

Slovenia’s three-time Vuelta a Espana winner Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) was 43 seconds again in sixth.

Evenepoel stated: “I’m super happy. I think it’s the best result we can get for the first day.

“We wanted to go as fast as possible and I think we went fast enough today. I said in the bus I thought 21:30 to win, and in the end (it was) 21:18, so I was quite close to my guess.

“I felt from the start that I had a good rhythm, always the same gear and the same cadence.

“I’m not really focusing on the gap with (Roglic), I just wanted to go and try to win this stage and in the end we won it, so mission one accomplished and now full focus and try to get safely through this first week and save energy for the next time trial.”

The second stage on Sunday is 202km from Teramo to San Salvo.

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