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"When we see Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde are within 25-30 seconds of him with all the big mountains we know will come, the time loss is nothing for him, just a small gap."

Photo: Sirotti






04.07.2015 @ 21:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

For the sixth time in Tour de France history, the Grand Départ took place in the Netherlands, with the city of Utrecht hosting the 13,8 km opening time trial for the 102nd edition of the biggest race of the cycling season. An early time to beat posted by Rohan Dennis (BMC) held off all challengers as the only rider to go under the 15-minute mark with a time of 14.56, earning the stage win and the yellow jersey for the 25-year old Australian rider. Joining him on the daily podium were Tony Martin of Etixx – Quick Step at 5-seconds and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) another second behind. For Team Katusha it was about staying close to the general classification contenders and keeping all riders safe in the opening stage.


"Our goal was for Joaquim Rodriguez to not lose too much time today compared to the GC contenders. When we see Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde are within 25-30 seconds of him with all the big mountains we know will come, the time loss is nothing for him, just a small gap. The guys gave their maximum today and in the next days we will see how things come out, especially for Alexander Kristoff who will look for bonus seconds and stage results in the next days. Both Kristoff and Rodriguez said they had good feelings in their legs today so we know opportunities will come. Of course we won the team time trial today in Austria bringing victory number 33 for the team and that makes it a very good day for Team Katusha.   Now the only individual time trial for the Tour is over and the only remaining TT is the team time trial in stage 9. That will be an important day, and gaps will be bigger than today. There are so many things between now and then so we will take it day by day as we work toward our goals of placing Joaquim high in the GC, we hunt for stage wins with both him and Kristoff and we work for the green jersey, too," said team director José Azevedo.


The first rider to kick off the 2015 Tour de France was Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) with defending champion Vicenzo Nibali (Astana) the final rider on course. The 198 riders raced in hot temperatures for the 13,8 km course which started somewhat technical but was mostly on flat, open roads. The only check point came at 7,1 km where Rohan Dennis was one second behind eventual fifth place finisher Jos Van Emden (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) but more than made up the time to win the overall by five seconds.          


Stage 2 stays in the cycling-loving Netherlands with the first road stage of the 2015 Tour de France. The start begins in Utrecht and rolls toward the Atlantic Ocean where the possibility of wind could play a part in the action of the day. At 166 km the very flat stage ends in Neeltje Jans. 



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