Thomas ‘fine’ after Tour de France crash as Teunisson wins stage one

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Tour de France 2019: ‘The bike took the hit’ – Geraint Thomas unscathed after crash

Geraint Thomas says he is “fine” after a late crash, as Mike Teunissen claimed a surprise win on the opening stage of the 2019 Tour de France in Brussels.

Team Ineos rider Thomas toppled off his bike as he avoided a bigger crash that saw one of the pre-stage favourites Dylan Groenewegen hit the floor.

“The main thing is it didn’t do any damage,” Thomas told BBC Sport.

Teunissen, a Jumbo-Visma team-mate of Groenewegen, outsprinted Peter Sagan to take the yellow jersey by centimetres.

Caleb Ewan of Lotto Soudal finished third and Team Dimension Data’s Giacomo Nizzolo took fourth.

Defending champion Thomas, had stayed out of trouble all day on the 194.5km stage but went down with about 1.6km remaining, finishing around two minutes behind the stage winner.

However, because the crash happened inside the final 3km on a designated sprint stage, he was credited with the same time as the group he was riding with, so ended up losing no time on his rivals for the overall win.

Thomas added: “I’m fine. We were through the three kilometre to go mark so slowly drifting back to just to get a bit of space, so if there was a crash, we avoided it but we ran out of road. It happens.

“I’m all good and happy to get that [first stage] out of the way. One down, 20 to go.”

Teunissen takes the yellow jersey

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Mike Teunissen becomes the first Dutch rider to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France since Erik Breukink in 1989

Teunissen was expected to be Groenewegen’s lead-out man for the finish but with his main sprinter out of contention, he was able to contest the victory and he becomes the first Dutchman to claim the yellow jersey since Erik Breukink in 1989.

“I was still fresh, I saw everyone cracking in the last metres, even Sagan, and I just kept going until the end. It’s amazing,” said the 26-year-old who is riding in his second Tour de France.

Teunissen, who gained a 10-second time bonus as stage winner, also heads the points classification for the green jersey from Sagan.

CCC rider Greg van Avermaet claimed the polka-dot King of the Mountains jersey after he instigated an early break and held off his three companions to reach the top of the biggest of the day’s two climbs, before returning back to the peloton.

Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang, who is expected to be one of Thomas’ main challengers for the overall title, was left with a bloodied face after he crashed with around 18km remaining. However, he too remounted and finished the stage without losing any time.

Sunday’s second stage is a 27.6km team time trial, which also takes place in Brussels. Team Ineos have been tipped to perform strongly by Britain’s Adam Yates in his BBC Sport stage-by-stage guide.

Stage one result

1. Michael Teunissen (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) 4hrs 22mins 47seconds

2. Peter Sagan (Slo/Bora-Hansgrohe) Same time

3. Caleb Ewan (Aus/Lotto-Soudal)

4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Dimension Data)

5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita/Bahrain Merida)

6. Michael Matthews (Aus/Sunweb)

7. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott)

8. Oliver Naesen (Bel/AG2R La Mondiale)

9. Elia Viviani (Ita/Deceuninck-Quick Step)

10. Jasper Stuyen (Bel/Trek-Segafredo)

General classification after stage one

1. Michael Teunissen (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) 4hrs 22mins 47seconds

2. Peter Sagan (Slo/Bora-Hansgrohe) +4secs

3. Caleb Ewan (Aus/Lotto-Soudal) +6secs

4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Dimension Data) +10secs

5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita/Bahrain Merida)

6. Michael Matthews (Aus/Sunweb)

7. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott)

8. Oliver Naesen (Bel/AG2R La Mondiale)

9. Elia Viviani (Ita/Deceuninck-Quick Step)

10. Jasper Stuyen (Bel/Trek-Segafredo)

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48895237

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