Photo: Rohan Dennis on his way to winning the TT in Bristol, Tour of Britain 2016
Tuesday’s Stage 2 time trial in Breda was won by Australian national TT champion Rohan Dennis in convincing fashion. Dennis’ win on the 9.6km course puts him in the race leader’s jersey by 5 seconds from LottoNL-Jumbo rider Jos Van Emden, who took second place on the stage.
Pre-stage favourites Tony Martin and Tom Dumoulin were off the pace, coming in 20 seconds behind Dennis. The short stage allowed the sprinters to finish strongly, with Sagan securing a top ten position in 8th place in a time of 11.05, and Kittel in 9th. Movistar’s Alex Dowsett rounded out the top ten.
Dennis was pleased with his commanding performance, which bodes well for Stage 5 and the Team Time Trial. “I took all the risks and kind of crossed my fingers every time I went through a corner…Today was as quick as I could possibly go”. Sagan’s top ten finish saw him move up to third place in GC. “He was the main guy that stressed me out” explained Dennis, “I was worried about him once Tom Dumoulin and Tony Martin had gone through”. Dennis’ BMC Team are now in a solid position, with Dennis confirming “we’re here to win with either myself or Greg (Van Avermaet)”.
Reigning World Time Trial champion, Vasil Kiryienka, didn’t have a great day, arriving at the start ramp 45 seconds behind his allocated time slot, meaning the clock had started without him. Rohan Dennis therefore set off only 15 seconds behind the Sky rider, overtaking him near the finish line. Dylan Van Baarle was also late starting.
Tomorrow the race enters Belgium, with a route of 186km from Blankenberge to Ardooie. The sprinters will once again be hungry for a stage win on rolling roads, although there may be a chance for a breakaway if riders can organise to hold off the peloton.