Full report and reaction from Tom Dumoulin's victory today below...
Apeldoorn - Apeldoorn
Giro d'Italia - 6 May 2016
Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 12:45 on 6 May 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
Get all the latest on Cycling: the big races, schedules and results.
That clearly meant a lot to Tom Dumoulin, who won by the slenderest of margins but did so in style. It's also Giant-Alpecin's first win of the season.
It's official: Michael Hepburn crosses the line in 19th place so Tom Dumoulin has won this opening time trial and will wear the maglia rosa tonight.
Here comes Spartacus.... and it's eighth place, 14 seconds down on Dumoulin, who looks all but guaranteed of winning today.
Kung, who was one second behind at the halfway point, is 16 seconds down at the finish. Had he not crashed, he'd be our winner today...
Nibali crosses the line 19 seconds down on Dumoulin - a solid effort for the overall race favourite.
Cancellara eight seconds down at the intermediate check, so the pink dream is not to be for the ill veteran.
CRASH: Stefan Kung of BMC overcooks a bend and slams into the barriers. He needs a bike change... terrible luck for the Swiss, who was riding solidly before that. What's more, he has a nasty graze on his backside now.
Can anyone beat that man Dumoulin today?
Nibali was seven seconds down at the halfway check.
And here's the last man to start of the day, Matthew Hepburn of Orica-GreenEdge.
Fabian Cancellara is the penultimate man to roll down the ramp. He says he's ill, but can the Trek-Segafredo veteran spring a surprise today and steal it from Dumoulin?
Valverde was eight seconds down at the intermediate check but he comes home 24 seconds down at the finish - but 16 seconds ahead of Landa. Majka is somewhere in between...
Best new time for Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) - but only just! In fact, to the second it's the same as Primoz Roglic, but the Dutchman must have edged it because he's into the lead.
Mikel Landa is 40 seconds down at the finish. But this was never going to be his day.
The hot race favourite Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is on course now. He won the Giro in 2013 and finished second and third in his previous two efforts. He won't be in pink today, but he'll settle for nothing less than pink three weeks later in Turin.
Out of the velodrome zips Rigoberto Uran of Cannondale. The Colombian won the Giro time trial in Barolo a few years ago and will look to start his race solidly today.
BOOM: Best intermediate time for Tom Dumoulin, who shaves two seconds off Tim Wellens' effort at the 4.8km mark.
Bob Jungels comes home 13 seconds down on Roglic and two seconds slower than team-mate Kittel.
Rafal Majka of Poland is next to roll down the ramp. Like Landa, he'll come alive in the mountains and he's Tinkoff's main man in the absense of defending champion Alberto Contador.
And now it's Alejandro Valverde, who is making his debut in the Giro aged 36! Should the Movistar veteran be in pink in Turin he'll be the oldest winner in the race's history.
A huge roar from the crowd for today's favourite, Tom Dumoulin, who's gunning for the maglia rosa on home soil. The Dutchman will hope to win Giant-Alpecin's first race of the season today.
So, we're onto the big guns now as Mikel Landa rolls down the ramp to get his first Grand Tour for Team Sky under way. Time trials are not really the Spaniard's thing so it will be damage limitation today.
Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) - the revelation of last year's Vuelta - is on course, as is Luxembourg champion Bob Jungels (Etixx).
CRASH: Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) hits the deck on a corner. Terrible luck for the Dutchman, who was one of the outsiders today. He had too much speed exiting the bend and there wasn't enough road. And his tri bars have been bent in the process and so he's now riding in a really uncomfortable, twisted fashion.
Here comes Amador and the Costa Rican has ridden the time trial of his life... but it's not enough - he's six seconds down for second place at the finish.
Impressive by Andrey Amador of Movistar - he's three seconds down at the intermediate check. Wellens was fastest here before fading.
Tinkoff's Manuele Boaro earlier rolled down the ramp and he's been named as one of the outside bets for today's ITT. He's five seconds down at the half way mark...
That's a great ride from Kittel, who is only 11 seconds down on the top time to set himself up nicely for a potential pink jersey after some of the upcoming sprints. He'd need more than one stage win, mind: the bonus at the finish for winners is just 10 seconds.
That's the third best time for Moreno Moser (Cannondale). The Italian is 12 seconds down on Roglic after an impressive ride, although he just tailed off towards the end.
Ludvigsson may have given up the hot seat to Roglic, but Giant-Alpecin still have their trump card to play...
Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) shaves a huge eight seconds off Ludvigsson's effort to set the new target time at the finish of 11:03. Great job from the Slovenian.
Marcel Kittel rolls down the ramp to many cheers. The German is a tidy time triallist and is he puts in a solid time today he could well take the pink jersey after the first couple of road stages, where time bonuses will be introduced.
Some interesting times at the intermediate check as Chad Haga (Giant Alpecin) is four seconds down on new halfway leader Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Moreno Moser (Cannondale) is just one second down...
BMC's Silvan Dillier has just set the new third best time at the finish, eight seconds down on Ludvigsson. He was three seconds down at the check and so rode this course very consistently.
Like so many riders before him, Howard faded over the second half and came home 22 seconds down on Ludvigsson, who's had a long reign in the hot seat this afternoon.
Leigh Howard (IAM Cycling) just one second down on Keizer at the intermediate check. This is promising from the Australian...
Keizer is cheered home but it's not enough - he's nine seconds down in fourth place and so Tobias Ludvigsson continues to keep the pink seat warm for Thomas Dumoulin.
We have a new best time at the intermediate check as local lad Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo) completes the first half of the course one second quicker than the previous three leaders. Could it be the send off by the Dutch fans or does Keizer really mean business?
This is a great showing from Giant Alpecin, while Ludvigsson stlll leads, his Australian team-mate Georg Preidler has just crossed the line to set the new third best time. He was four seconds down at the split and ended up nine seconds down on his team-mate.
And here comes Jack Bobridge, the only man in the past year or so who has failed in an attempt at the world hour record. He was sixth at the split and has faded - 34 seconds down in 32nd.
If Cancellara can't get in the mix for Trek, then they have Jack Bobridge who could do something. The Australian has set the sixth best time at the first check, four seconds down. As for Tjallingii, he dropped outside the top 10 after fading in the second half.
Tjallingii is just four seconds down in fifth place at the intermediate check. Above him at the 4.8-km stage are Anton Vorobyen (Katusha), Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant Alpecin) and Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), who all set a time of 5:27 at the halfway point, and Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling), who was one second faster. But that won't help Tjallingii's cause - he overcooks onme of the nine bends and really has to wind down the windows.
Estonian national champion Ramunas Navardauskas, the all-sprinting, all-breaking powerhouse from Cannondale, is the latest rider to roll down the ramp in sunny Apeldoorn. He's followed by Jakob Fuglsang, the Dane who will be a key ally to Astana team-mate Vincenzo Nibali in the mountains.
Maarten Tjallingii has a huge smile on his face as he rolls down the ramp amid huge cheers from the Dutch fans. The LottoNL-Jumbo rider's contract runs down next month and this is his final Grand Tour swansong before he rides off into the sunset.
Frenchman Alexandre Geniez (FDJ) was joint fastest at the halfway point but faded over the second half, coming home 13 seconds down on Ludvigsson for provisional fourth place.
Alexandr Kolobnev is on course now for the all-Russian pro-conti outfit Gazprom-RusVelo, who raised eyebrows when they were named as one of the four wildcard teams at the expense of Gianni Savio's Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec squad. RusVelo have an interesting climbing prospect in Sergey Firsanov, who is making his Grand Tour debut today.
The top five at the moment is a real league of nations: Sweden, Austria, Poland, Estonia and the Netherlands. They're followed by two Canadians, a German, a Russian and another Dutchman, ahead of a Dane.
A reminder that there are no British riders in the Giro d'Italia for a second successive year, with the likes of Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh, Ben Swift, Steve Cummings and Mark Cavendish all being kept back for other races, most notably (for some) the Tour de France.
And we have a new leader: Tobias Ludvigsson of Giant Alpecin crosses the line in a fine time of 11:11 to take over the hotseat. Remember, Giant are still looking for their first win of a season that was severely derailed by that horrific training crash in Alicante. Could the Swede hold the reins before passing the baton over to his team-mate Dumoulin?
The big news today is that Fabian Cancellara, who is the second last rider to leave, had an upset stomach and won't be at his usual best today. It's his last ever Giro d'Italia but it looks like he won't be able to don that elusive maglia rosa... unless it's a bluff, of course.
Remember, you can watch all the action live on Eurosport and the Eurosport Player. Here's a little teaser about today's stage...
No surprise there: Matthias Brandle, the Austrian specialist from IAM Cycling who held the world hour record for a while last year has shaved 11 seconds off Hofland's time. Brandle is now the man to beat with a time of 11:17 after completing the course with an average speed of above 52kmph. His team-mate Heinrich Haussler is the latest rider to roll down the ramp in the velodrome.
It's worth giving you a quick weather report from Apeldoorn, the Dutch city that is hosting the Grande Partenze this year: it's currently sunny with a temperature of 22°C. This course is short, sheltered and flat - and there aren't so many corners, in fact just eight big corners in total, and some long straights. So it's definitely one for the specialists - as the Inner Ring says, "a straightforward test of power and aerodynamics, no more, no les".
Canadian veteran Svein Tuft wore the race's first maglia rosa after the opening team time trial in Belfast two years ago. The Orica-GreenEdge man has just crossed the finish line one second down on Hofland to take provisional second place.
Motorised doping is one of the hot topics in the peloton and you'll be pleased to know that the UCI testers are giving each and every bike used today the one-over. Surely it would be folly for anyone ever trying to use a hidden motor during a race as prestigious as the Giro?
Germany's Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) shaved a second off Sabatini's target time but the new leader is Dutchman Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo) who gave the home fans something to shout about with a time of 11:28 - that's nine seconds faster than the Rostock Gorilla.
We join the opening time trial live now and Fabio Sabatini rolled down the ramp to get the 2016 Giro d'Italia under way, setting a target time of 11:49 over the 9.8km course to take the provisional maglia rosa.
Right, back in the house after that Facebook live chat. If you tuned in, I hope you enjoyed it - and it will be available to watch in your own time on the official Eurosport Facebook page on the same link as below.
Before we get going with the live coverage here I'll be doing a live Facebook webchat about today's time trial and the 99th edition of the Giro in general.
Not long to go now before the time trial gets underway at the Apeldoorn velodrome.
Here are the start times for some of the big favourites - in BST: Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep) 15:41, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) 15:44, Mikel Landa (Sky) 15:46, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 15:48, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) 15:49, Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) 15:56, Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) 16:01.
The first rider down the ramp today will be Italy's Fabio Sabatini (Etixx-QuickStep) at 13:45 local time (12:45 BST). The riders will leave at one-minute intervals right through to the last man, Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge), rolls down the ramp at 17:02 (16:02 BST). The Australian is last to ride by virtue of Orica's victory in last year's opening team time trial.
Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) will be one of the huge favourites to win today and wear the first maglia rosa of the race - especially given news that Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) is suffering from an illness. Dumoulin could only manage fourth place when the Tour de France started with a time trial in Utrecht last year and of the riders who beat him that day, only Cacellara is featuring in this Giro. That said, Dumoulin is yet to win a race against the clock this season after finishing runner-up on three occasions...
Here's the stage profile for today's time trial, courtesy of the only Dutch team in the race - LottoNL-Jumbo. They'll be hoping to put in a good show in front of the home fans. It's the third time in 14 years that the Giro has started in the Netherlands after Gronigen (2002) and Amsterdam (2010).
A pan-flat 9.8km time trial that starts in the Apeldoorn velodrome will put the chrono specialists – home hero Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) or Swiss veteran Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo), perhaps – among the favourites to wear the first maglia rosa of the Giro d'Italia. But there will be twists and turns aplenty – not to mention climbs agogo – over the next three weeks en route to the Giro's first ever finish in Turin. Here's a full preview, with details on the course, the riders to watch and some of the key questions...
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the opening stage of the 2016 Giro d'Italia - a 9.8km individual time trial in and around the Dutch city of Apeldoorn.