Tour de France

Tour de France: Stage 1 Brussels to Brussels

Today’s opening stage saw le Tour commence with a road stage instead of a Prologue Time Trial. Despite a couple of hill climbs early on, the stage was expected to suit the sprinters and it didn’t disappoint.

The stage was 194.5km long with two KOMs enroute with a Category 3 climb up the 106m Mur de Grammont (1.2km at 7.3%) at 43.5kms and then the Category 4 climb up the 103m Bosberg (1km at 6.7%) and an intermediary sprint at Les Bon Villers at the 125km mark.

The stage started with a few riders getting up the road chasing KOM points, including Greg van Avermaet (Team CCC) who grabbed the first points and Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) lead over the Bosberg.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed the intermediate points and then in the run into the finish line Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) crashed out, leaving Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) to challenge for the stage victory. But flying on the left was Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Groenewegen’s leadout man who took the win in a photo finish.

Summary of Stage 1

Onboard Camera

Final Kilometre

Tomorrow’s Stage

Stage 2 is a 27.6km Team Time Trial from the Royal Palace to the Atomium in Brussels. Although simple in concept the significance of riding hard and tight for nearly 28km could shake up the race. Can Jumbo-Visma hold it together to keep Teunissen in yellow? If I’m a betting man I’d put money down that they can. Not only have they got George Bennett (from Nelson, New Zealand) but they’ve got Tony Martin (4 time World TT Champ). Jumbo-Visma were always going to be contenders for tomorrows stage but now they’ve got extra motivation to ensure they ride out of their skins and hold onto the maillot jaune.

Word of the Day

Director Sportif (DS): The team director for a professional cycling team. They usually direct the team from the team car in the race convoy. Often ex-riders stay on for a team after their riding days are done by being employed as a director sportif.

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