Defending Giro d’Italia Champ Wins 1st Stage of Huge Race

Jared Evan

Reigning champion Tom Dumoulin laid down a marker to main rival Chris Froome by winning the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia on Friday.

Dutchman Dumoulin edged out Australian Rohan Dennis by just two seconds in the 9.7-kilometer time-trial around Jerusalem as Chris  Froome struggled following his crash in morning training to finish 21st and lose 37 seconds.

Froome is the reigning Tour de France and Vuelta a España champion and one of the most successful riders in the history of the Tour, having won it four times – in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Israel geared up for arguably the biggest sporting event to be held in its history, with 176 cyclists from 22 different teams set to compete Friday and Saturday in the first leg of the 2018 Giro d’Italia in the unseasonably steamy Middle Eastern climate, i24 reported.  After the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia is the most prestigious cycling event in the world.

The 120 million shekel (34 million dollars, 27 million euros) investment in the Israeli leg was expected to attract thousands of tourists as spectators watch to see whether four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome will aim to become just the third person to win the three Grand Tour titles in a row.

The three stages include a 10k Jerusalem section, followed by a 167-kilometer run from Haifa to Tel Aviv, and a 230-kilometer route from Be’er Sheva to Eilat.

Fan Footage of the Event

 

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