Jumbo-Visma stormed to victory on the Tour de France team time-trial on Sunday with Mike Teunissen keeping the yellow jersey after the 27.6km second stage around Brussels.
Teunissen maintained his overnight lead when his team beat Geraint Thomas’ Ineos by an impressive 20 seconds, with the next five teams all grouped within a handful of seconds.
Ineos were the first group down the ramp on Sunday and set a pulsating time for the others to chase, holding onto their lead until Jumbo, last off the blocks, smashed 20 seconds off the British team’s time just when it appeared that Gianni Moscon would take the yellow jersey.
Instead, Saturday’s surprise winner not only keeps his overnight lead, but moves further clear of his rivals from other teams.
“It was a pretty decent time,” a breathless defending champion Geraint Thomas said at the finish line at the giant Brussels Atomium.
“I was pretty sore hitting the barriers yesterday, so the good news (is) I’m totally fine.”
Those looking for signs this will be an open and competitive Tour de France, will see the minimal time differences between the main contenders as a sign of how tight it is.
Before the race leaves Belgium on Monday, Thomas and Bernal gained 12 seconds on Pinot, 16 seconds on Nibali, and 21 seconds on Adam Yates and Fuglsang. They opened more significant gaps with Nairo Quintana (45 seconds) and Romain Bardet, the day’s big loser who conceded 59 seconds.
Tour de France 2019 – stage 2 results (Brussels – Brussels TTT):
|6||EF Education First|
|16||UAE Team Emirates|
|19||AG2R La Mondiale|
|20||Total Direct Energie|
Tour de France 2019 – general classification after stage 2:
|1||Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma)|
|2||Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)|
|3||Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma)|
|4||Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma)|
|5||George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma)|
|6||Gianni Moscon (Team Ineos)|
|7||Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)|
|8||Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos)|
|9||Dylan van Baarle (Team Ineos)|
|10||Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|11||Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|12||Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|13||Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|14||Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|15||Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)|
|16||Rick Zabel (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|17||Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|18||Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)|
|19||Lennard Kämna (Team Sunweb)|
|20||Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin)|