Tour de France

Briton Thomas wins TDF opening stage

2017-07-01 19:20
Geraint Thomas (Getty)

Dusseldorf - Chris Froome struck an early blow on his Tour de France rivals as his Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas won the opening stage in Dusseldorf on Saturday. 

It was a great day for Britain and Sky, as Thomas will wear the coveted leader's yellow jersey for the first time on Sunday. 

"I didn't really expect it, I didn't know what to expect," said Thomas. 

"To win a stage is incredible and to get the yellow jersey on top is an amazing cherry." 

Reigning champion Froome put more than 30 seconds of time into his main rivals for overall victory as he tamed the tricky course and conditions better than they did. 

For Sky it was a great success with four riders in the top seven as 2015 world time-trial champion Vasil Kiryienka took third and 2014 world road race champion Michal Kwiatkowski was seventh, one place behind Froome. 

Swiss time-trial champion Stefan Kung was the closest to Thomas, finishing second at just five seconds off the winning time of 16min 04sec. 

Even four-time world champion Tony Martin, the German who had dreamt of winning the opening stage in his home country, could not deny Thomas as he managed only fourth, despite leading at the only time check after 8.1km. 

But while Froome, Sky and Britain celebrated, is was a bad day for Colombian Nairo Quintana and his Movistar team as his chief domestique Alejandro Valverde crashed out of the race. 

Spanish veteran Valverde, who was third overall two years ago, crashed hard on a slippery bend in miserable wet conditions and was visibly in great pain. 

The 37-year-old seemed to jar his left leg when he touched his foot down as he lost his back wheel, before skidding hard into the metal crash barriers. 

It was immediately clear he wouldn't be able to continue but his team frantically tried to move him as he was stranded on the apex of a tricky bend, with many other riders set to come around it having set off at one minute intervals. 

"Unfortunately @alejanvalverde cannot continue in the race. What sadness to finish a Tour on the first day," said Movistar on Twitter. 

Not only will Quintana be without one of his key lieutenants in the mountains, but he lost 36 seconds to Froome. 

That was par for Froome's main rivals with Australian Richie Porte losing 35 seconds, Frenchman Romain Bardet 39sec back and two-time former winner Alberto Contador giving up 42sec.

Porte had beaten Froome in a time-trial at last month's main warm-up event the Criterium du Dauphine, but he said he had felt uneasy in the wet. 

"I was cautious. It was slippery. It wasn't the best time-trial for me," he said. 

"I was nervous. It was better to take no risks." 

Froome said his own strong showing was no surprise. 

"I'd done a lot of time-trial training over the last few weeks since the Dauphine. It wasn't lucky that I did a good time-trial," he said. 

Frenchman Elie Gesbert, on his 22nd birthday, had been the first rider to set off under grey skies and a sprinkling of rain as the 2017 Tour got underway. 

The early lead changed hands several times before Kiryienka of Belarus posted a mark of 16:11. 

His Sky team-mate Kwiatkowski matched Kiryienka's time of 9:20 at the time check, but he couldn't maintain that pace and finished eight seconds back. 

But the time was beaten by another Sky rider as fast finishing Welshman Thomas, who was three seconds down at the time check, took seven seconds off the finish line marker. 

Martin, as expected, went quickest by a second at the time check, but he faded over the second part of the course and an anxious looking Thomas breathed a sigh of relief. 

But he had to wait until Froome crossed the line, around 45 minutes after he had done, before he could celebrate.

Overall standings after the first stage of the Tour de France, a 14km ride around Dusseldorf on Saturday:

1. Geraint Thomas (GBR/Sky) 16:04.

2. Stefan Kung (SUI/BMC) at 0:05.

3. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR/SKY) 0:07.

4. Tony Martin (GER/KAT) 0:08.

5. Matteo Trentin (ITA/QST) 0:10.

6. Christopher Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:12.

7. Jos van Emden (NED/LNL) 0:15.

8. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) 0:15.

9. Marcel Kittel (GER/QST) 0:16.

10. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/DDT) 0:16.

11. Nikias Arndt (GER/SUN) 0:16.

12. Taylor Phinney (USA/CAN) 0:17.

13. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 0:17.

14. Daryl Impey (RSA/ORI) 0:19.

15. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP/MOV) 0:20.

16. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) 0:20.

17. Pierre-Roger Latour (FRA/ALM) 0:25.

18. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) 0:25.

19. Audrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 0:27.

20. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ/AST) 0:29.

21. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/QST) 0:30.

22. Robert Gesink (NED/LNL) 0:31.

23. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/BAH) 0:32.

24. Tim Wellens (BEL/LOT) 0:32.

25. Maciej Bodnar (POL/BOR) 0:33.

26. Timo Roosen (NED/LNL) 0:34.

27. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) 0:36.

28. Reto Hollenstein (SWI/KAT) 0:36.

29. Simon Yates (GBR/ORI) 0:37.

30. Fabio Felline (ITA/TRE) 0:37.

31. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/QST) 0:39.

32. Alessandro De Marchi (ITA/BMC) 0:39.

33. Emanuel Buchmann (GER/BOR) 0:40.

34. Paul Martens (GER/LNL) 0:40.

35. Jos Herrada Lopez (ESP/MOV) 0:40.

36. Jasha Stterlin (GER/MOV) 0:41.

37. Mike Teunissen (NED/SUN) 0:41.

38. Nils Politt (GER/KAT) 0:41.

39. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 0:42.

40. Michael Albasini (SWI/ORI) 0:42.

41. Damien Howson (AUS/ORI) 0:43.

42. Diego Ulissi (ITA/EAU) 0:43.

43. Michael Schr (SUI/BMC) 0:44.

44. Tylan van Baarle (NED/CAN) 0:44.

45. Robert Wagner (GER/LNL) 0:45.

46. Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU/FDJ) 0:46.

47. Simon Geschke (GER/SUN) 0:46.

48. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 0:47.

49. Richie Porte (AUS/BMC) 0:47.

50. Imanol Erviti (ESP/MOV) 0:48.

51. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/DEN) 0:48.

52. Jarlinson Pantano (COL/TRE) 0:48.

53. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 0:48.

54. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 0:49.

55. Andrew Talansky (USA/CAN) 0:49.

56. Jack Bauer (NZL/QST) 0:49.

57. Daniel Martin (IRL/QST) 0:49.

58. John Degenkolb (GER/TRE) 0:49.

59. Arnaud Dmare (FRA/FDJ) 0:49.

60. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 0:50.

61. Romain Sicard (FRA/DEN) 0:50.

62. Albert Timmer (NED/SUN) 0:51.

63. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 0:51.

64. Alberto Bettiol (ITA/CAN) 0:52.

65. Primoz Roglic (SLO/LNL) 0:52.

66. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 0:52.

67. Lilian Calmejane (FRA/DEN) 0:53.

68. Alberto Contador (ESP/TRE) 0:54.

69. Carlos Betancour (COL/MOV) 0:54.

70. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 0:54.

71. Koen de Kort (NED/TRE) 0:54.

72. Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ/AST) 0:54.

73. Michael Andersen (DEN/AST) 0:55.

74. Dario Cataldo (ITA/AST) 0:55.

75. Stephen Cummings (GBR/DDT) 0:56.

76. Daniele Bennati (ITA/MOV) 0:56.

77. Christian Knees (GER/SKY) 0:56.

78. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/ORI) 0:56.

79. Andr Greipel (GER/LOT) 0:57.

80. Julien Vermote (BEL/QST) 0:58.

81. Warren Barguil (FRA/SUN) 0:59.

82. Rudy Molard (FRA/FDJ) 0:59.

83. Pierre-Luc Perichon (FRA/FVC) 0:59.

84. Lars Ytting Bak (DEN/LOT) 0:59.

85. Jrgen Roelandts (BEL/LOT) 1:00.

86. Danilo Wyss (SWI/BMC) 1:00.

87. Nicolas Edet (FRA/COF) 1:00.

88. Matthew Hayman (AUS/ORI) 1:01.

89. Cyril Lemoine (FRA/COF) 1:01.

90. Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA/ALM) 1:02.

91. Simon Clarke (AUS/CAN) 1:02.

92. Markel Irizar (ESP/TRE) 1:02.

93. Laurens ten Dam (NED/SUN) 1:03.

94. Maurits Lammertink (NED/KAT) 1:03.

95. Rigoberto Uran (COL/CAN) 1:03.

96. Jens Keukeleire (BEL/ORI) 1:04.

97. Maxime Bouet (FRA/FVC) 1:04.

98. Tiago Machado (POR/KAT) 1:04.

99. Jan Bakelants (BEL/ALM) 1:05.

100. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 1:06.

101. Nathan Brown (USA/CAN) 1:06.

102. Mikel Landa (ESP/SKY) 1:08.

103. Ben Swift (GBR/EAU) 1:08.

104. Mathias Frank (SUI/ALM) 1:09.

105. Eduardo Sepulveda (ARG/FVC) 1:09.

106. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA/DDT) 1:09.

107. Serge Pauwels (BEL/DDT) 1:10.

108. Tsgabu Grmay (ETH/BAH) 1:10.

109. Jay McCarthy (AUS/BOR) 1:10.

110. Michael Gogl (AUT/TRE) 1:10.

111. Marcel Sieberg (GER/LOT) 1:11.

112. Vegard Laengen (NOR/EAU) 1:11.

113. Louis Meintjies (RSA/EAU) 1:12.

114. Daniel McLay (GBR/FVC) 1:12.

115. Manuele Mori (ITA/EAU) 1:12.

116. Esteban Chaves (COL/ORI) 1:13.

117. Ondrej Cink (CZE/BAH) 1:13.

118. Ramon Sinkeldam (NED/SUN) 1:13.

119. Ben Gastauer (LUX/ALM) 1:13.

120. Christophe Laporte (FRA/COF) 1:14.

121. Fabio Sabatini (ITA/QST) 1:14.

122. Nicolas Roche (IRL/BMC) 1:14.

123. Tiesj Benoot (BEL/LOT) 1:15.

124. Pierre Rolland (FRA/CAN) 1:16.

125. Sergio Henao (COL/SKY) 1:16.

126. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) 1:16.

127. Axel Domont (FRA/ALM) 1:16.

128. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/QST) 1:16.

129. Frederik Backaert (BEL/AJW) 1:17.

130. Florian Vachon (FRA/FVC) 1:17.

131. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 1:17.

132. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 1:18.

133. Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY) 1:20.

134. Javier Moreno (ESP/BAH) 1:20.

135. Olivier Le Gac (FRA/FDJ) 1:20.

136. Grega Bole (SLO/BAH) 1:20.

137. Dimitri Claeys (BEL/COF) 1:20.

138. Elie Gesbert (FRA/FVC) 1:20.

139. Tom Leezer (NED/LNL) 1:20.

140. Matteo Bono (ITA/EAU) 1:20.

141. Jaco Venter (RSA/DDT) 1:20.

142. Janez Brajkovic (SLO/BAH) 1:20.

143. Marco Marcato (ITA/EAU) 1:21.

144. Andrea Pasqualon (ITA/AJW) 1:23.

145. Mickael Delage (FRA/FDJ) 1:23.

146. Florian Snchal (FRA/COF) 1:24.

147. Amal Moinard (FRA/BMC) 1:25.

148. Brice Feillu (FRA/FVC) 1:25.

149. Thomas Boudat (FRA/DEN) 1:27.

150. Yohann Gene (FRA/DEN) 1:27.

151. Angelo Tulik (FRA/DEN) 1:27.

152. Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (KAZ/AST) 1:28.

153. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) 1:29.

154. Marco Haller (AUT/KAT) 1:29.

155. Yoann Offredo (FRA/AJW) 1:29.

156. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) 1:29.

157. Thomas Degand (BEL/AJW) 1:29.

158. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/DEN) 1:32.

159. Pawel Poljanski (POL/BOR) 1:32.

160. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL/AJW) 1:36.

161. Juraj Sagan (SVK/BOR) 1:37.

162. George Bennett (NZL/LNL) 1:37.

163. Laurent Pichon (FRA/FVC) 1:39.

164. Borut Bozic (SLO/BAH) 1:40.

165. Davide Cimolai (ITA/FDJ) 1:40.

166. Rdiger Selig (GER/BOR) 1:41.

167. Guillaume Martin (FRA/AJW) 1:42.

168. Bernhard Eisel (AUT/DDT) 1:42.

169. Cyril Gautier (FRA/ALM) 1:43.

170. Andrej Zeits (KAZ/AST) 1:43.

171. Marco Minnaard (NED/AJW) 1:43.

172. Marcus Burghardt (GER/BOR) 1:43.

173. Romain Hardy (FRA/FVC) 1:45.

174. Adrien Petit (FRA/DEN) 1:45.

175. Yukiya Arashiro (JPN/BAH) 1:46.

176. Mark Cavendish (GBR/DDT) 1:46.

177. Perrig Quemeneur (FRA/DEN) 1:47.

178. Dion Smith (NZL/AJW) 1:47.

179. Jacopo Guarnieri (ITA/FDJ) 1:48.

180. Patrick Bevin (NZL/CAN) 1:48.

181. Scott Thwaites (GBR/DDT) 1:50.

182. Luke Rowe (GBR/SKY) 1:50.

183. Mark Renshaw (AUS/DDT) 1:50.

184. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL/AJW) 1:54.

185. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/LNL) 1:55.

186. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF) 1:57.

187. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/EAU) 1:57.

188. Adam Hansen (AUS/LOT) 1:59.

189. Roy Curvers (NED/SUN) 2:12.

190. Rick Zabel (GER/KAT) 2:12.

191. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/KAT) 2:13.

192. Luis ngel Mat (ESP/COF) 2:13.

193. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/COF) 2:23.

194. Darwin Atapuma (COL/EAU) 2:26.

195. Luke Durbridge (AUS/ORI) 3:01.

196. Tony Gallopin (FRA/LOT) 3:03.

Read more on:    tdf 2017  |  geraint thomas  |  cycling
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