Team Jumbo-Visma survives hectic first stage Paris-Nice
Team Jumbo-Visma has come through the first stage of Paris-Nice in a good way. T...
David Dekker has finished second in the opening stage of the UAE Tour on his professional debut. In the sprint, the Team Jumbo-Visma rider only had to acknowledge the superiority of his compatriot Mathieu van der Poel.
The first stage was one full of nervousness. From the start, the wind played a major role and the peloton was immediately split apart. After a game of cat and mouse, a little after halfway the stage, twenty-six riders established the decisive leading group and sprinted for the stage victory. Besides Dekker, Chris Harper was also part of the breakaway for Team Jumbo-Visma. The Australian finished eighth.
"The goal was to go for the stage win, but the best was gone after a day of full-on racing"
“The goal was to go for the stage win, but the best was gone after a day of full-on racing”, Dekker said. “The difference on the line with Mathieu was clear, so I can’t be dissatisfied with this second place. In the final it was mainly a matter of getting in and keeping position. Chris and I were a bit too far back in the last two kilometres, but Chris did a good job there with a final effort to get me in Mathieu’s wheel. It was a very tough and fast stage and it immediately broke into echelons. The cooperation in the front group was very good. I think it was mainly because it was a mix of sprinters and GC riders and also because there were teams that were represented with more than two riders. In the last kilometres Deceuninck-QuickStep tried to avoid the sprint, but Chris reacted adequately to counter the attempts a number of times so that I could focus on my sprint.”
"David’s second place is a wonderful entry as a professional, especially as he did it at WorldTour level. A class act."
Sports director Engels looked back on an eventful stage with a good feeling. “It was a very nervous stage which was decided early. David’s second place is a wonderful entry as a professional, especially as he did it at WorldTour level. A class act. With Chris we also had a rider for the GC in that group. So the situation was okay for us. Of course you always hope that you are in the first group with more riders, but looking at the composition of the group and how many teams missed out, we should be happy with this result.”