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Steven Kruijswijk has finished the first mountain stage in the Tour de France with a modest time loss compared to his competitors for the general classification. In the last kilometre, the group of favourites, including George Bennett, broke apart. The two climbers of Team Jumbo-Visma managed to limit the loss. In the general classification Bennett can be found in fourth place, Steven Kruijswijk has dropped to place eight.
In the first mountain stage of the Tour de France, a large group of fourteen riders got a big lead. The stage victory went to Dylan Teuns, who was part of the breakaway. Team Jumbo-Visma kept Kruijswijk well in front. In the final, it was Bennett who assisted him, but they could not prevent a few classification riders taking some time on the steep and famous final climb La Planche des Belles Filles.
“This was not the ideal climb for me”, Kruijswijk said. “The moment Alaphilippe went, I had to give in. I know that some riders are better during the first week. That was also the case last year and I don’t want to make a big deal out of this time loss. Thanks to the result in the team time trial, I had a nice advantage. I lost some of that, but during this Tour, a lot is still to come.”
Bennett was satisfied with his ride. “I felt good. I am very pleased with that. Steven and the team were good too. That gives confidence for the next two weeks.”
“This was a first test for the classification riders”, sports director Grischa Niermann said. “We knew in advance that this stage was the least suitable for Steven’s climbing capacities. We had hoped for something more, but we got through the day well and think it will get even better in the upcoming stages.”