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Giro d'Italia 2018: Stage 1 tackles short time trial around Jerusalem

Joe Robinson
4 May 2018

The first Grand Tour stage outside of Europe will navigate the city roads of Jerusalem, Israel

Stage 1 of this year's Giro d'Italia will go down in history whatever the result. The short 9.7km individual time trial will be the first ever Grand Tour stage to take place outside of Europe. The destination, as we know, is Jerusalem, Israel.

The decision for race organisers RCS to take its race to Jerusalem has been consistently criticised in some quarters but with just a week until the race departs, it is all but guaranteed the race will start in Israel.

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While this stage is unlikely to be a deciding factor in who will wear the pink jersey three weeks later in Rome, it will act as a barometer to judge who is in good form ahead of the rest of the Giro.

The course, starting on Yitshak Kariv street, will be fast with the route sticking to wide roads that although roll have little in the way of true climbing tests. What the route lacks in metres climbed it makes up for in techincal corners.

Across the 10km, the riders will have to negotiate 19 bends with many at 90 degrees or more. The final kilometre along Gershon Argon street will also include a chicane within the final 500 metres. 

The finish lies upon Shlomo ha Melekh street, with a final kicker of 9% in the closing stages of the time trial.

Also noticed, the time trial avoids the roads of the Old City entirely. Officially, this is to evade narrow, broken roads but is more likely due to the security risk of having the race enter the 'occupied' half of Jerusalem. 

With its constant change of direction and largely flat parcours, expect the true power men to prosper on a course such as this.

Among those will be Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo). A handy time triallist, Van Emden took the final time trial of the 2017 race, beating compatriot and overall winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb). 

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) will no doubt be among the favourites to go into pink while Euopean time trial champion Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) will also be there or thereabouts.

Rohan Dennis yellow jersey

Red from the Vuelta, yellow from the Tour. Can Dennis add pink from the Giro?

Among the GC favourites, Dumoulin and Chris Froome (Team Sky) will post solid times but do not expect them to take any risks so early in the race.

British hopes will most definitely lie in time trial specialist Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) who will be looking to add to his 2013 stage win.