The time trial featured a short climb out of Monreale before a fast descent down to Palermo which was complicated by strong winds making for a tricky run through the city.
As one of the early starters, Černý was chasing the time of João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and equaled the Portuguese’s time at the first check point at the top of the climb.
Despite the strong winds, Černý navigated the descent well and matched Almeida’s time at the second check point after nine kilometres of racing before tackling the final six kilometers of flat terrain.
Having faded slightly in the finale, Černý crossed the line to stop the clock at 16 minutes which was the provisional second-fastest time of the day, 14 seconds behind Almeida.
World time trial champion Filippo Ganna (INEOS – Grenadiers) was the only rider who was able to go faster than Almeida to take the stage win and the first Maglia Rosa of the race, while three riders edged Černý off the podium and into sixth place.
Quotes from the finish line
“It was really windy today but I tried to do my best and go full gas. With Marco Pinotti, we worked out a strategy and I was in second place for a while. I felt pretty quick and for sure it was one of the highest speeds I have done in a time trial. It was a little bit dangerous but I think everyone had the same conditions more or less. I’m happy with sixth place. I wanted to be in the top ten so this is a good result, especially with the number of time trial specialists here. I miss the racing condition a little bit but I think the second time trial will be a good one for me so I’ll try for another good result there.”
Stage 1 ITT Montreal > Palermo (15.1km)
Top 3: 1. Filippo Ganna (INEOS – Grenadiers), 2. João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick – Step), 3. Mikkel Bjerg (UAE – Team Emirates)
CCC Team top 3: 6. Josef Černý, 19. Kamil Gradek, 65. Ilnur Zakarin