Tour de France (st. 1)
Colombian narrowly avoids important crash just before final kilometer in Brussels; Blue team-mates also unscathed before Sunday’s trascendental TTT.
Dutchman Mike Teunissen (TJV) surprised in Brussels, starting and ending point of stage one in the 2019 Tour de France, all of the big sprinters, including second-placed Peter Sagan (BOH), to take the first yellow jersey prior to Sunday’s crucial team time trial (27km) in the Belgian capital.
Nairo Quintana avoided by a few centimeters a high-speed crash with just over 1km to go, the only major incident -together with another pile-up which involved Jakob Fuglsang (AST)- in a day calmer than usual at such finishes in the Tour. Amador, Oliveira, Verona and Erviti took care of the Blues’ main hopes, including Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde, who also finished within the favourites’ group.
“It was an opening stage like any other one in the Tour”, was Quintana’s summary at the finish. “These first few stages are ones to stay safe and carry on without losing any time, without any setbacks. The team is doing well; we might lost a bit of time tomorrow, but hopefully it’s not too much and we can continue to do our job in the next few days.”
Austria: Fernández, Betancur, Anacona in the mix at prologue
At their third competitive appointment of the weekend, the men’s Tour of Austria (UCI 2.1), the Movistar Team put three of its climbers within the best 25 of the explosive, rectilineal prologue in Wels (2.5km). Local youngster Jannik Steimle (VBG, 2’50”) won by one second over top specialist Matthias Brändle (ICA), while Rubén Fernández (+7″), Carlos Betancur and Winner Anacona -both 8″ back- limited well their losses over a rouleur-suited course. Before the crucial mountain-top finishes of Fuscher Törl (Wed) and Kitzbüheler Horn (Fri), a series of chances for the sprinters will start with Sunday’s stage one to Freistadt (138km… and 2,000 meters of climbing).
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto