Filippo Ganna blew away the rest of the field to take victory in the UAE Tour time trial second stage, while Tadeg Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) went top of the general classification on a dramatic day.
An entire team was lost before the action even got started, as Alpecin-Fenix and overnight leader Mathieu van der Poel were forced to withdraw after an unnamed member of staff tested positive for coronavirus.
UCI Road World Championships: Full schedule and top riders
Ganna was the favourite going into the time trial and the INEOS Grenadiers rider fulfilled his promise by finishing 14 seconds ahead of Stefan Bisseger (EF Education-Nippo), with Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) third, 21 seconds behind.
Pogacar’s fourth placed finish took him top of the general classification by five seconds over Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step).
- Covid case forces Van der Poel and Alpecin-Fenix to withdraw from UAE Tour
- Eurosport to show Giro d'Italia until at least 2025
- Tayler Wiles: 'I felt very lucky to come out in women's cycling'
Britain’s Adam Yates remains in contention for INEOS, sitting 39 seconds back ahead of Tuesday's third stage in the mountains, which may suit the strong climber.
Speaking at the race finish, Ganna was happy with his overall performance: "It’s not easy. Every race is hard because everyone arrives with focus and good legs but my body was ready today.
This is a fantastic result for me and the team.
"It’s strange in the middle of the dessert but it’s really nice.
Ganna admits 'every race is hard' but says his 'body was ready' after Stage 2 win
"This is my first time in the UAE Tour and at the moment I’m really happy and I hope to have good legs for future races like Tirreno-Adriatico in the next months."
Van der Poel provisionally included in Dutch team for World Championships road race
Kung storms to second successive European Championship time trial title in Trento