May 5, 2016 – Time-trial specialist Fabian Cancellera is hoping an ill-timed bout of flu hasn’t compromised his chances in Friday’s opening Giro d’Italia race against the clock.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

“Bad luck struck me yesterday (Wednesday) after training; stomach bug, fever. Complete rest today. Staying positive for tomorrow,” the multiple time trial world champion posted on his Twitter page.

Cancellera’s ill chance has handed the mantle of favourite for Friday’s 9.8 kilometre run in Apeldoorn to local Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin. “I’ve learned a lot from my failure in last year’s opening time-trial at the Tour de France,” Dumoulin said.

“I had the legs to win that, but I hadn’t checked over the course properly,” he recalled. “I’ll be a lot more concentrated on Friday’s circuit,” stressed the Giant team rider who took second in the Tour de Romandie’s time trial last month.

Dumoulin has no claims on overall victory in the Giro. “To target the general classification you have to have a specific preparation at altitude, something I haven’t had.”