Tom Dumoulin wins Stage 1 time trial taking the pink jersey

Tom Dumoulin wins Stage 1 time trial taking the pink jersey

British cyclist Chris Froome is aiming to win a third consecutive Grand Tour title.

The victor of the start-up phase and the first holder of the pink shirts was the defending champion of the race, the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin - captain "Sunweb" just two seconds ahead of Australian Roanne Dennis and became a three-time victor of the Giro stages.

The Team Sky rider suffered cuts in the crash ahead of the time trial in Jerusalem, with his right knee looking particularly grazed. His shorts were ripped around the hip and his jersey was ripped near his shoulder blade.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) could only finish 21, 37s adrift, having crashed heavily earlier in the day during a recon ride.

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Froome's sample showed elevated levels of asthma drug salbutamol, but the 32-year-old has insisted he is not guilty of any wrongdoing. "It's going to be a painful TT for him but he is fine".

The series of crashes came shortly before the Giro opened in Jerusalem, the first time a Grand Tour cycling race has ever been held outside Europe.

Losing to Dumoulin and Dennis on this course is no major embarrassment but the fact he is also behind Italy's Domenico Pozzovivo and Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, two challengers for victory in Rome in three weeks' time and neither known for their time-trialling, will smart.

Then there will be stages in "the Haifa - tel Aviv and be'er Sheva - Eilat".

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