Dutch rider Tom Dumolin (Giant-Shimano) won the prologue at the second annual Tour of Alberta, finishing a full 14 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Maxxis).
Dumolin, 23, finished second on the 54km stage 20 time trial at the Tour de France in July, and recently finished third overall at the Eneco Tour stage race, winning the 9.6km stage 3 time trial.
“In Holland, it’s eight hours later, so we decided that I start early,” said Dumoulin. “It felt like starting in the middle of the night already, so the earlier the better.
“The altitude is 1,200 meters here and I’m coming from sea level. You do notice the difference, but eventually it didn’t make a big difference in my performance and the result.
“I paced myself well on the early section and kept some energy for the last hill, and it worked out pretty well.”
The Giant rider smoked the 4km course in Calgary, which included a steep climb of 400 feet in the final mile, in a time of 5:59.70.
Tvetcov, 25, recently finished third overall at the USA Pro Challenge, finishing third on the 16km uphill Vail time trial.
Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp), recent winner of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and runner-up at the USA Pro Challenge, finished third, 17 seconds off Dumolin’s time.
Cannondale’s Davide Villella finished fourth, 18 seconds down, while Americans Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) and Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, fractions of a second behind Villella.
Orica-GreenEdge rider Daryl Impey, returning to competition after being absolved of wrongdoing in a doping positive, finished 11th, 23 seconds down.
Canada’s Zach Bell of North Vancouver (Team SmartStop) was the fastest Canadian, posting the eighth fastest time. Bell will be wearing the red jersey as the Top Canadian Rider. Christian Meier of Sussex, New Brunswick ( Orica-GreenEdge) finished just behind Bell in ninth position, while Ryan Roth of Cambridge, Ontario (Silber Pro Cycling) took 10th.
“I picked up cycling in Calgary, so I am pretty familiar with the area. I am happy with how the race went. I’m with some pretty good company up there, so this is a good start for Team SmartStop, and I believe we can follow it up over the next few days,” said Bell. “The Canadian guys were pretty hungry for this race. The guys around me (in the top 10) are good buddies. This course was laid out in order to give us some pretty good opportunities.”
2013 champion Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) is not in Alberta, instead competing at the Vuelta a España.
The prologue kicks off the five-stage race that runs through Lethbridge, Innisfail, Red Deer, and Sherwood Park, and concludes Sunday in Edmonton.
“We now have more of an idea of the challenge on GC and I will now do everything with the team to get this jersey home,” Dumoulin said.