In photos: Basque glory
Sun, rain, mountains and the sea. The Tour of the Basque Country was one to enjo...
Team Jumbo-Visma has made it through the opening stage of the Tour de France without major damage. The yellow-black squad played no role in the mass sprint which was won by Alexander Kristoff. The bad weather conditions in the Nice area caused many crashes. At the initiative of Team Jumbo-Visma, the peloton neutralized a dangerous part of the race.
Three attackers were given little space by the nervous peloton and were caught about fifty kilometres from the finish. Team Jumbo-Visma, led by the German road captain Tony Martin, was always in the front. Martin decided in a dangerous part of the stage to calm his colleagues in the peloton. “I felt that I had to take responsibility. Not just for our own team, but for all riders. Fortunately, all teams agreed. The roads were very slippery and dangerous”, Der Panzerwagen explained
"I felt that I had to take responsibility"
Wout van Aert also crashed, but without major consequences. “Fortunately, Tom and Primoz stayed out of trouble. We were well ahead throughout the race. Furthermore, it was really crazy on some parts of the course. It was very slippery and a lot of riders crashed. At a certain point there was some solidarity in the peloton and we took it a bit easier. Tony’s move to calm the peloton was more than justified in my view.”
The Fleming did not get to sprint on the Promenade des Anglais. “In the end I was too scared to sprint. That’s why I didn’t get involved.”
Sports director Frans Maassen had also seen a stressful day. “Our leaders performed well. We always were in the front at the right moments. I hope the weather will get better tomorrow. Moreover, it will be a challenging stage. Fortunately, despite the crashes of Wout, Amund and George, the damage is not too bad.”