Lars Boom took the lead of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain with the stage win as Clacton and the Tendring district of Essex hosted an 16-kilometre individual time trial.
The Dutchman, who won two stages and the overall of the race in 2011, averaged over 51kph to head home teammate and European Time Trial Champion Victor Campenaerts by six seconds, with former World Time Trial Champion Vasil Kiryienka a further second in arrears.
Boom now leads overall by eight-seconds from his teammate, with Kiryienka another second behind. Twelve riders lie within 30-seconds of the race lead, include Team Sky’s Welsh duo Geraint Thomas and Owain Doull, the former of whom is now the Adnams Best British rider overall in ninth place.
Afterwards Boom was pleased with his victory, highlighting the quality of the top 10, all of whom had World, European or National Time Trial championships to their name.
“I know, I always go out hard,” commented Boom on his fast start that saw him lead through all of the time checks, “So I knew already in my mind that if it’s headwind in the last few kilometres I’m going to drop some seconds, but in the end I could keep it on 45, 48 [kph], so it was quite OK and my team director was telling me that at one-kilometre out I was still 10 seconds faster, so I knew it was OK.
“The week before we came to Britain I had some problems with the stomach and so I was looking a little bit funny for the shape, but the feeling now was pretty good on the TT bike.
“There’s a really strong field here, that’s why I’m also really pleased with the win. We have to make a plan for the next few days. We need to see because it can be difficult with only six riders in the team, so it makes the racing also a little bit more difficult, but that’s quite nice about this race. And 20-seconds is not much so we have to look… I don’t know yet.”
Orica Scott’s Luke Durbridge was the early leader, overtaking Harry Tanfield’s early pace setting time, before 2015 World Time Trial Champion Kiryienka went quicker with a time that home favourites Thomas and Alex Dowsett couldn’t match.
Team Lotto NL Jumbo then took the lead with Campenaerts, before Boom usurped him going eighth from last, threatening to go under the 19-minute mark, finishing on 19.02”. The Dutch team now hold three of the top five positions on General Classification, with Jos Van Emden fifth having scored the same position on the stage.
There was no change in the other classifications, with Elia Viviani holding the Wiggle Points Jersey, Graham Briggs the Eisberg Sprints jersey and Jacob Scott the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey.