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Le TOUR’19 Stage 1: Teunissen Trumps Sagan!
Stage Report: Jumbo-Visma's Mike Teunissen won the first stage of the 2019 Tour de France and will wear the yellow jersey on Sunday. The Dutchman saw his team leader, Dylan Groenewegen, fall in the final kilometer and put himself in a perfect position for the finish. The Dutchman overhauled Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the final meters, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) was third.


A close call - Teunissen from Sagan

The Tour de France has started! 198 riders kicked off in Brussels to contest the 106th edition of the Tour de France at noon on Saturday. A bunch sprint was always on the cards, but the winner was a surprise.


The fans were out in Brussels

Stage 1 Route:
A bunch sprint was expected at the end of a 2-km long and slightly uphill straight line on the Park Royal Avenue near the castle of the king of Belgium in the north of Brussels. The first polka dot jersey of the 2019 Tour de France will be awarded after 43.5km of racing atop the “muur” of Geraardsbergen. It’s a cat. 3 climb, followed by the cat. 4 Bosberg, so whoever will come first at the “muur” will lead the KOM classification. Many riders who don’t have to look after a sprinter will fight for the breakaway from the gun with that first target in mind. The sprinter's teams will try to control the run-in, and this year there are many fast-men ready for the final battle The winner of stage 1 will receive the first yellow jersey of the 106th Tour de France.




Stuart O'Grady and Tom Boonen catch up


The King - Eddy Merckx

Greg Van Avermaet grabs the polka dot jersey
Immediately after the start, four riders attacked: Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert), Natnael Berhane (Cofidis), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) formed the early escape in search of the polka dot jersey, which would be fought for at the top of the muur of Geraardsbergen.


The 2019 Tour ready to go!


All happy at the start


Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert), Natnael Berhane (Cofidis), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Greg Van Avermaet (CCC)


Van Avermaet had a plan

With a 2 minute lead on the peloton, the leaders hit the famous cobbled climb. Berhane tried to surprise his escape companions by jumping at the foot of the muur, but Van Avermaet pulled him back with Meurisse in his wheel, the Olympic champion was the first to the summit. Van Avermaet will wear the polka dot jersey in Sunday's team time trial.


Van Avermaet wanted that KOM jersey


The peloton wasn't far behind

A nervous peloton
Once the Belgian had completed his task, Van Avermaet sat up and waited for the peloton, while the confidence also slowly faded away from the three leaders. Before the intermediate sprint they were caught by the chasers.


Down to three


Jumbo-Visma, Lotto Soudal and Deceuninck - Quick-Step were in charge

There was a battle for the intermediate sprint. Bora-Hansgrohe put the hammer down on a cobblestone section, which caused problems for Jasper Philipsen, Elia Viviani and Alexander Kristoff, as well as causing a few splits in the peloton. Nobody panicked and the intermediate sprint was won by Peter Sagan, and the dropped riders eventually made contact with the peloton soon after.


The peloton wanted to keep things together


The peloton passed Waterloo

Stéphane Rossetto attacks
With 70 kilometers still to race, there was no break for the peloton to chase. Stéphane Rossetto thought it the perfect time to attack. The Cofidis rider quickly took a 2 minute lead. The Frenchman must have made the attack for the TV exposure in the final hour. In the peloton, Jumbo-Visma, Deceuninck - Quick-Step and Lotto Soudal controlled Rossetto's lead.


Rossetto gave it a good shot


Back to Brussels

Jakob Fuglsang crash
The usual battle came with the organization of the sprinter teams, which so often leaves its mark on the first week of the Tour de France. 20 kilometers from the finish; Jakob Fuglsang crashed hard and looked in big trouble. The Dane was bleeding from his head, but thanks to four teammates he managed to regain the peloton 10 kilometers from the finish.


Groenewegen lost it all in a late crash


A late rush from Teunissen

Dylan Groenewegen down
Just as Rossetto was caught, the peloton entered Brussels and on the wide city roads the teams had enough room to get their sprint trains in line. Jumbo-Visma waited a long time before bringing Groenewegen to the front, but the Dutch team were blocked in one and a half kilometers from the finish, which resulted in a crash. Groenewegen was lying on the road as he saw his yellow dream disappear.


A happy surprise

Mike Teunissen takes the first Dutch yellow jersey in 30 years
Mike Teunissen and Wout van Aert were still able to hold their places in the front as Michael Matthews (Sunweb) went at 200 hundred meters from the finish. The Australian was passed by Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal). Then suddenly Teunissen came up in the final meters to edge out Sagan on the line to be the first Dutch yellow jersey wearer in 30 years.


First 2019 yellow jersey for Mike Teunissen

Stage winner and overall leader, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma): "I really didn't expect this. I cannot believe it. We have been working for weeks, months, to bring Dylan here to the stage win and the yellow jersey. One and a half kilometers before the finish everything disappears because he falls. Then I thought: I am here, I am still fresh. I watched everyone die and even grabbed Sagan. I felt good because we had not done much. Then I just thought I'd go for it. It is a very strange day. Our goal disappears within a mile. I hope Dylan can still smile when I show this yellow jersey. You can dream about it, but it comes true now. That's pretty nice. Our vision has now changing very quickly. Hopefully Dylan is okay, because we have to help Steven tomorrow for a good result, because that is a new goal."


KOM Greg Van Avermaet

Mountains leader, Greg Van Avermaet (CCC): "I was very motivated to do something on my home soil. It’s probably the only time in my career when the Tour de France includes the Mur, which is close to my home and it’s always special when you get to race in front of your home fans, friends, and family. The Mur itself was very nice, with a lot of people and a great atmosphere but, you still have to go first over the top. It was not as easy as it may have seemed on the TV. Meurisse is a strong rider and I was worried about him. I’m happy that I was able to take the first KOM and get the jersey for at least the next two days."

Tour de France Stage 1 Result:
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:22:47
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
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 Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
11. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
12. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First
13. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert
14. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
15. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
16. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
17. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
18. André Greipel (Ger) Arkéa Samsic
19. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
20. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert
21. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
22. Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Gobert
23. Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First
24. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
25. Patrick Bevin (NZ) CCC.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 1:
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:22:47
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal at 0:06
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data at 0:10
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 Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
11. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
12. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First
13. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert
14. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
15. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
16. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
17. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
18. André Greipel (Ger) Arkéa Samsic
19. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
20. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert
21. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
22. Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Gobert
23. Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First
24. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
25. Patrick Bevin (NZ) CCC.

 


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