Seventh in the 34.8km-long stage against the clock, the Luxembourger made a significant jump in the general classification.
San Marino, one of the oldest republics in the world and host of the first ever Giro d’Italia foreign start in 1965, welcomed again the peloton, who brought down the curtain over the rather quiet first week with a tough individual time trial, made even more difficult by the heavy rain and the wet roads which didn’t favour the late starters.
Among these was also Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Bob Jungels, who left the start house and safely negotiated the slippery fast part of the course, before ramping up the speed and catching his minute-man ahead of the second intermediate split. On the climb that featured on the second half of the stage, adding a new dimension to the time trial, Bob put in another strong effort and recorded the tenth fastest time, stopping the clock in 53:08, enough to slot into seventh place.
His result was one of the best by a general classification contender, helping Bob make some significant inroads on a stage which many considered to be among the most important of this edition. The 26-year-old Luxembourg Champion now sits in 14th, behind teammate Pieter Serry and just one minute from the top 10, which at least on paper, shouldn’t see any other changes until next Thursday, when the peloton will arrive in Pinerolo, site of a famous Fausto Coppi stage victory in 1949.
“We knew this was going to be a crucial stage for the GC contenders and I was looking forward to it. The TT was very hard, with the inclement weather and that climb at the end, but I was right up there with the other overall contenders and at the end of the day I am happy with my performance”, Bob said before heading to the hotel. “I paced it well today and I had good feelings, which is very important. My condition is getting better and better and that makes me more confident ahead of the next two weeks.”
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images