Tour de France (st. 2)
Costa Rican suffers crash less than 30km from Liège's finish; completes stage, will continue in the race. Quintana remains 48” behind Thomas (SKY) in GC; Kittel (QST) wins on day two
Misfortune continues to chase the Movistar Team in the early stages of the 2017 Tour de France. After the serious crash and injuries for Alejandro Valverde at the opening TT in Düsseldorf, Andrey Amador couldn’t avoid a crash on his way to Liège – though he did finish stage two. Less than 30km from the end, the Costa Rican crashed hard against his right-hand side, and suffered bruises to his elbow and knee.
Amador, whose injuries do not compromise his continuity in the race, crossed the line just over nine minutes after winner Marcel Kittel (QST), who took the bunch sprint at the end of a windy, rainy day where Yoann Offredo (WGG) and Phinney (CDT) stayed in the break until the closing 1.1km. Quintana and his six other team-mates completed the stage inside the main field, the Colombian still at 48” behind Geraint Thomas (SKY). Jonathan Castroviejo is the top Movistar Team rider in the GC in 14th spot (+20”).
Monday will bring the first uphill finish in this year’s Tour Tour on another long day (212.5km), crossing the hills of Belgium and Luxembourg before the Côte des Religieuses (Cat-3; 1.6km, 5,8% avg.) in Longwy.
Nairo Quintana: “We really feel for Alejandro, and we feel his absence, it’s a huge empty space to fill. We just have no choice but to carry on and do our best. We’re getting used to the racing pace again and fortunately, most of my team-mates and myself went through no difficulties today. It’s just what week one is about: getting safely through every and each stage. We know the Tour is like that, and we also know that crashes like Andrey’s can happy, and we must keep full attention. Let’s hope these next days are drier, for everyone’s safety. We’ll have to stay focused at the finish tomorrow so as not to lose any seconds. At the Tour de France, you can’t have any sort of respite.”
Jasha Sütterlin: “It was really, really nice for me so see so many fans coming to the start in Düsseldorf and having lots of friends there to support me. It wasn’t the best start personally, though, because of my crash in the training ride prior to the TT. I have some pain on the left side of my body, some skin damaged, but it was nothing serious. I hope to feel better in the next few days and do my job for Nairo. My goal was to finish in the top-ten at the time trial, but after the crash I was a little bit scared, and ended up losing some time into the wet corners. I’m not so happy with the result, but there’s 19 days ahead to make up for it. As everybody in the team has said before, we can only wish Bala the best so he can get back on his bike soon. We’ll try to do our best for Nairo on his behalf.”