Tour de France (st. 2)
Telefónica-backed squad concedes 1’05” against Jumbo-Visma in 27km team time trial in and around Brussels, remains fully in contention within TDF favourites on day two of the race.
Mike Teunissen remains the leader of the 2019 Tour de France as his team Jumbo-Visma won a fast, demanding TTT stage two in and around Brussels, 27.6km covered by the winners at over 57kph average.
The Movistar Team limited losses in one of the most difficult tests of the race for its roster, finishing 1’05” behind the British squad, 17th in the day, and protecting its two leaders -Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana- heading into a very tough three weeks ahead for the GC contenders.
Monday, the TDF will return to France with a long (215km) stage three, featuring a lumpy finale to Épernay with four rated ascents in the last 50km.
REACTIONS [all three right after the finish – ed.]:
Mikel Landa: “These 45″ gap was within the margins we expected to lost today. I’m really happy with our team; they really kept us Nairo and myself well protected. Our team composition is more biased towards the moutnains, and it’s difficult to be with the top contenders in such efforts.”
Alejandro Valverde: “It’s OK, a gap within what we expected. It was a demanding time trial, but above that, a really fast one, which suits squads like INEOS really better. We’re satisfied with this result. It’s a hilly finish tomorrow, so we will have to remain really focused.”
Eusebio Unzué: “Seeing the gaps against stronger teams in this terrain, such as INEOS, Astana or Groupama-FDJ, I think we conceded a reasonable margin at the finish. It wasn’t an ideal course for us, and we completed a good effort, so we’re satisfied.”
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto