Tour de France (st. 1)
Nairo Quintana & Movistar Team away from crashes suffered by Contador (TNK) and several sprinters into first Normandy day in Tour de France. Uphill finish in Cherbourg tomorrow
The Movistar Team got through all likely troubles into one of the stressful days leading up to the mountains where Nairo Quintana will chase for the #SueñoAmarillo. The 2016 Tour de France started off with a win for Mark Cavendish (DDD) in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, next to the Utah Beach where Europe started to get its freedom back in Normandy, after 188km full of nerves, some brief crosswinds into the least protected regions of the course and many crashes along the route.
An incident for Rowe (SKY) and Contador (TNK) against road furniture with 80km to go and a hard blow into the finishing straight for Morkov (KAT), which took the sprint into mayhem, were the main troubles into a bunch where Movistar Team always took the right moves. The work by Erviti, Oliveira, Jesús Herrada and Ion Izagirre was completely satisfactory, as it kept Nairo Quintana -30th across the line- well protected. Alejandro Valverde also went through the day safely.
The race will not leave the Manche department during Sunday’s stage two, through the terrain will be a bit more challenging: after 183km from Saint-Lô, the squad’s headquarters for the week, the race will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, following the climbs of Octeville (not rated) and La Glacerie (1900m at 6.5%) just before a last kilometer uphill, where both Nairo and Alejandro will try to keep the front.
Winner Anacona: "It was a long day, compared to previous TdF opening stages; also one with lots of stress, nerves and a pretty fast pace. The turns and different roads, combined with the competitivity of these first-week finishes caused some crashes, as we saw. Fortunately, we didn't suffer any consequences; it's good to have got our legs spinning at last, things should go better for us in what's to come. The race has just started, three long weeks are still ahead with tough rivals alongside us. We're well prepared and we will continue to work as we did today to keep Nairo well protected before the mountains."