A Grand Tour debutant, the 24-year-old became the first German in history to lead the youth standings at the Corsa Rosa.
Max Schachmann enjoyed a perfect start to his Giro d'Italia campaign, after stopping the clock in 12:23 on the 9.7km-long course in Jerusalem, which included rolling sections, several tricky corners, cobblestones and an uphill finish, for one of the most exciting and demanding Grand Tour opening time trials in recent memory.
Last Quick-Step Floors rider to leave the start house, the Volta a Catalunya stage winner clocked the best time at the only checkpoint on the route, before arriving at the finish exhausted after leaving everything on the road and slotting into eighth place, some 20 seconds down on stage winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb). For the two-time U23 World ITT Championships runner-up, it was a result that at the end of the day landed him the first white jersey of this edition, for the best young rider in the race.
An elated Max Schachmann shared his thoughts after writing a small piece of history at the prestigious Corsa Rosa, where he became the first German to lead this classification since it was created, back in 1976.
"I knew that I had a good chance to take the jersey, but I can't say I was expecting this, I was just hoping to move into it at the end of the stage. Last month I went to an altitude training camp before riding the Ardennes Classics, and after a short period of rest I came here with good legs and confidence. The course was up and down, very hard for the first day of a race. After passing through the intermediate, Davide Bramati told me I was the fastest there. At that moment, I was already beginning to feel tired, but I pushed myself and ignored the pain. It's always tricky to find the right balance between riding on the limit and not going over it, but I think I managed well the situation."
"It will be difficult, because this is the Giro – one of the toughest races in the world – but I will try to defend this jersey for as long as possible. Having it from the first day of the race it's such a great honour and makes me very proud. To be on the podium after the first stage of my maiden Grand Tour is an incredible achievement, especially as my foot injury in the 2017 Tour de Pologne kept me out of action until the start of this season. I can say this is a nice reward for all the hard work of last winter, when I kept believing I can return to my best", concluded the 24-year-old Quick-Step Floors rider.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images