Stefan Bissegger won the UAE Tour's individual time trial ©UAE Tour

Stefan Bissegger won stage three of the UAE Tour to assume of the lead of the general classification, beating world champion Filippo Ganna by seven seconds in an individual time trial.

The Swiss rider, in EF Education-Easypost colours, had an average speed of 55.6 kilometers per hour, completing the 9km route which doubled back on itself in 9min 43sec.

Ganna of Italy and Ineos Grenadiers was second, with Jumbo-Visma Dutchman Tom Dumoulin third in 9:57.

Dumoulin was the time trial runner-up at Tokyo 2020, while Ganna won a team pursuit gold medal on the track.

Tadej Pogačar, the Slovenian star who has won each of the last two Tours de France and was a road race bronze medallist at last year's Olympics, finished 18 seconds adrift of Bissegger in fourth.

"I had really good power today," Bissegger said.

World champion Filippo Ganna was seven seconds adrift in second place ©UAE Tour
World champion Filippo Ganna was seven seconds adrift in second place ©UAE Tour

"It's the personal performance that really counts but it's always nice to beat the world champion. 

"I was scared that Ganna might beat my time and I'm happy that he didn’t."

Bissegger's advantage in the general classification mirrors the stage result, as he leads Gann by seven seconds.

Jasper Philipsen, who had been in the red jersey to start the day, is 12 back in third.

The Dane, riding for Alpecin-Fenix, stays in the points classification lead.

Tomorrow's fourth stage is seen as a crucial one, with the 181km route from Fujairah Fort to Jebel Jais finishing with a 20km climb.