Tour de France 2019: Mike Teunissen Extends Lead

The Dutch outfit finished 20 seconds ahead of pre-stage favourite Ineos.

AFP/ |

  • Mike Teunissen grew his overall lead at the Tour de France when his Jumbo–Visma team won the Stage 2 team time trial.
  • The Dutch team finished 20 seconds ahead of pre-stage favourite Ineos on the 27.6K course around Brussels.
  • Teunissen, who won Stage 1 in a surprise photo finish, kept his yellow jersey and now leads overall contenders Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas by 30 seconds.

After a surprise win on Stage 1, Mike Teunissen had another great day at the 2019 Tour de France as his Jumbo–Visma team won the Stage 2 team time trial on Sunday.

The Dutch outfit stormed to victory on the 27.6K course around Brussels, Belgium, allowing the 26-year-old Teunissen to keep the race leader’s yellow jersey for an unexpected second day.

Teunissen, the first Dutchman to lead the Tour’s General Classification since Erik Breukink in 1989, actually extended his overall lead when his team beat Ineos, which had been favoured to win the stage, by an impressive 20 seconds. The next six teams all finished within 12 seconds after that.

“We heard of course that we were fastest,” Teunissen told reporters after the stage. “We got so much morale – we already had a lot of morale with this [yellow] jersey on. We were flying. Again, it’s unbelievable. It’s not that I’m getting used to winning stages in the Tour de France, but it’s two for two now, so it’s really, really nice.”

Ineos was the first group down the ramp and set a pulsating time for the others to chase, holding onto its lead until Jumbo, last off the blocks, blew things apart with a dominant ride. Until then, it looked like Ineos’s Gianni Moscon, a 25-year-old all-rounder, would take the yellow jersey.

Another upset, Stage 2 led to key changes in the early overall rankings. Fellow Jumbo–Visma riders Wout Van Aert and Steven Kruiswijk now trail Teunissen in second and third place on the General Classification by 10 seconds. The closest non-Jumbo–Visma GC contenders right now are Ineos’s Egan Bernal and returning champion Geraint Thomas, who sit 30 seconds behind Teunissen, and Deceuninck–Quick-Step’s Elia Viviani and Julian Alaphilippe, who are 31 seconds behind.

Dylan Groenewegen, a Jumbo–Visma pre-race favourite who went down in a crash on Stage 1, struggled again on Sunday as he got dropped on the time trial course. He’s now 164th on the GC, 4:32 behind his teammates.

Still, minimal time differences between most of the main overall contenders show how tight, open, and combative this Tour de France could be.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, not expected to challenge for the top placings, put together a fair performance to finish in 14th out of the 22 teams, 54 seconds behind the winners.

“It was 30 minutes of hell out there but actually, I think it went really well for us. We haven’t done much focused TTT training together as a group but we had a plan today and we executed that plan well.” – Michael Valgren

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