JERUSALEM - Reigning champion Tom Dumoulin laid down a marker to main rival Chris Froome by winning the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia on Friday.
Dutchman Dumoulin edged out Australian Rohan Dennis by just two seconds in the 9.7-kilometre time-trial around Jerusalem as Froome struggled following his crash in morning training, finishing 21st and losing 37 seconds.
Froome's build-up to his attempt to become only the third man in history to hold all three Grand Tour titles at once -- he won both the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana last year -- had already been compromised by a scandal over an adverse doping test reading in September.
He returned a urine sample with elevated levels of salbutamol and spent much of his pre-Giro press conference on Wednesday answering questions about whether or not he should even be racing at the Giro.
Froome failed to find top form over the last few months, although he finished a credible fourth at the Tour of the Alps in April.