Stefan Bissegger takes Tour of Benelux time trial and race lead
Swiss EF-Nippo rider Stefan Bissegger won the time-trial on stage two of the Tour of Benelux on Tuesday to also leap into the overall lead at Lelystad in the northern Netherlands
Time-trials are known to be run at a faster pace at high altitude but Lelystad was created in 1967, built on the seabed thanks to a giant dike, and is in fact 3 metres below sea level.
Racing over the 11.1km course in 12 minutes and 08seconds this was 22-year-old Bissegger's third individual time-trial win of the season.
Italy's Leonardo Affini was second and Stefan Kung was third on the only time-trial of this seven day World Tour event.
Bissegger takes over the leader's jersey from Monday's stage winner Tim Merlier of Alpecin-Fenix and is 19sec ahead of Kasper Asgreen of Denmark and 20 ahead of Kung.
"It was one of those races that you need to be careful with your energy over the opening stretch before letting go," said the winner.
One of the big pre-race favourites Remco Evenepoel said he felt sick on Tuesday and trundled in 22nd place, after losing time due to a broken wheel and a mechanical error on Monday mean his chances of winning the tour look over.
Wednesday's stage is a flat run to Hoogerheide in the Netherlands and should favour a sprint, while the last four stages are all in Belgium and will favour the riders who prefer rolling terrain.
VIDEO: 2021 Benelux Tour Stage 2 Highlights
2021 Benelux Tour Stage 2 Top 10
1 Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo 0:12:08
2 Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:15
3 Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:20
4 Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:21
5 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:00:22
6 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:23
7 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM 0:00:24
8 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:00:26
9 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:29
10 Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:31
2021 Benelux Tour GC after Stage 2 Top 10
1 Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo 3:44:29
2 Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:19
3 Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
4 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:00:21
5 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:00:26
6 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:28
7 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:36
8 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:00:38
9 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:42
10 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team DSM 0:00:45