Tour de France 2019: Stage 1 – Teunissen Stings the Sprinters

It’s not every year that the Tour de France begins with a sprint stage and a chance for the fast men to claim the yellow jersey — though it does seem to be a frequent occurrence in recent editions. The 106th edition of the World’s Greatest Bike Race™  brought that chance, however, as the 176-man peloton wove their way through the streets of Brussels.

The first stage of the Tour famously kick-starts a week of nerves and crashes. Today’s finishing 5 kilometres packed an extra chaotic punch with narrowing Belgian roads, an onslaught of 90-degree turns in the final 3 kilometres, and an uphill drag for the final 500 metres. Cycling fans around the globe waited anxiously to see which sprinter – Elia Viviani, Peter Sagan, Caleb Ewan, Dylan Groenewegen –would claim the coveted maillot jaune. Jumbo-Visma’s Mike Teunissen, however, benefited from a late race crash to rise above them all!

Rider of the Race

If anyone told you prior to today’s stage that Mike Teunissen would outsprint Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan to become the first Dutch rider in 30 years to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, then you probably should have them buy you a lottery ticket.

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After Dylan Groenewegen went down in a pile-up 1.5km from the line, Jumbo-Visma’s hope for the first yellow jersey looked all but demolished. All eyes turned toward Sagan, Viviani, and Ewan as the road began to rise.

With his Bora teammates putting him in the right position, Sagan looked to have it in the bag, but Teunissen had different plans. With a miraculous burst of speed and ferocious bike throw at the line, the 26-year-old Dutchman claimed a stunning photo-finish win to mark his first Grand Tour stage win and the Netherlands’ first yellow jersey of the millennium.

It’s a testament to the young rider that he had the presence of mind to see the opportunity to take the victory after the team’s hope was lifting himself back onto his bike.

“I thought I’m still here, still fresh so we can try it. I saw everyone dying in the last metres – even Sagan I was catching up on. I just took him on the line and, like I said, it’s beyond imagining. It’s unbelievable.”

The ‘Dis are on the move

No Tour de France breakaway counts unless Cofidis are present, and that’s why we’re here to talk about is Stephan Rossetto‘s solo ride. The Tour rookie got a crash course in what it means to be part of a Cofidis Tour team – breakaways, breakaways, and MORE breakaways! Rossetto rode away solo with nearly 60km to go, and built a padded advantage of two minutes as the kilometres ticked down.

Our resident Cofidis expert, Euan, jumped for joy.

The real story, however, is this little tidbit that Inner Ring shared. Can you imagine?! Makes my spine tingle.

First week horror

Crashes happen every year. The nerves of the Tour make the riders jittery, narrow European roads only increase the stress, and wheels ultimately touch. Unfortunately, that’s bike racing. However, a frightening crash in the final 20km took down one of our Danish beauts, Jakob Fuglsang. In true Viking fashion, though, he remounted and pedalled on with blood dripping from his face. And people say cycling is the new golf… pffft. Luckily, Astana were able to send teammates back to pace him back into the bunch before the sprint trains put the peloton out of reach.

At the end of the stage, Fuglsang immediately went to the medical tent and was taken to hospital. The medical update shows that he went down hard – let’s hope he’s able to get a good night sleep and the TTT tomorrow goes well for the team. It would be such a shame to lose a rider who is in the form of his career almost before the race started!

Tweets from the peloton

Like the Classics in July

We can’t help ourselves when it comes to Chad Haga‘s oversimplification!

Degenkolb looks to be living his best life away from the Tour…

Mark Cavendish, too, for that matter.

Stage Results – Top 5

1 Mike Teunissen (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4:22:47

2 Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) s/t

3 Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) s/t

4 Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) s/t

5 Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) s/t

General Classification – Top 10

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1 Mike Teunissen (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4:22:47

2 Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 00:04

3 Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) at 00:06

4 Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) at 00:10

5 Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) s/t

6 Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) s/t

7 Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) s/t

8 Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) s/t

9 Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) s/t

10 Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) s/t

All the jerseys

Maillot Jaune:  Mike Teunissen (Team Jumbo-Visma)

Maillot Vert: Mike Teunissen (Team Jumbo-Visma)

Maillot Blanc: Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal)

King of the Mountains: Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team)

For the full stage review, go to cyclingnews 

Header image: Stage 1 bike throws ©GETTY/Velo/Chris Graythen

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