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Teunissen takes first pro win in Tour de l’Ain prologue

Stopping the clock in 4.31.23, Teunissen took his first professional victory by going 0.06 second faster than Geniez in the Tour de l’Ain prologue; the Dutchman is the first leader of the race.








11.08.2015 @ 20:53 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mike Teunissen (LottoNL-Jumbo) confirmed that he is destined for a great future in professional cycling when he took his first pro win in the Tour de l’Ain prologue. In a nail-biting stage, he stopped the clock in 4.31.23 which was 0.06 second faster than the time of Alexandre Geniez (FDJ) and enough to take both the stage win and the overall lead.


Last year Mike Teunissen emerged as one of the biggest cycling talents when he won the U23 editions of Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Tours and took a remarkable third place against the pro riders in the Boucles de la Mayenne. The results earned him a contract with LottoNL-Jumbo but his first time at the pro level has been hard.


A number of health issues have prevented him from showing his full potential but since May he has gradually got up to speed. He clearly benefited from getting through the Tour de Suisse in June and after a solid summer of training he has been absolutely flying.


One week ago Teunissen was agonizingly close to his first pro win when he finished second in the RideLondon Classic and this made him optimistic for the Tour de l’Ain where he is part of a young LottoNL-Jumbo team. Going into the race, he did nothing to hide that he wanted to win the prologue and today he did just that with a great performance on the 3.8km course in Bourg-en-Bresse.


Being one of the favourites, Teunissen was the penultimate rider to start the stage and he found himself up against climber Alexandre Geniez who had had a remarkable ride on the flat course to post a time of 4.31.29 that had been enough to beat leader and prologue specialist Jimmy Engoulvent (Europcar). However, Teunissen did even better as the clock stopped in 4.31.23 which was just 0.06 seconds faster.


A few moments earlier Marc Sarreau (FDJ) had posted a time of 4.32 to slot into the provisional second place and as Pierre-Roger Latour (Ag2r) was unable to challenge the best, two FDJ riders ended on the podium. However, it was Teunissen who took his first pro win.


With the win, the Dutchman is of course also the first leader of the race and will wear the yellow jersey in tomorrow’s first stage. With just a small climb in the first half and a completely flat finale, the sprinters are expected to get an early chance before the race heads into the mountains later in the week.


A technical course

As usual, the Tour de l’Ain kicked off with a prologue. This year’s opener had a distance of 3.8km and was held in the city of Bourg-en-Bresse. It was mainly flat but with several turns in the beginning and end it was pretty technical.


It was a nice day in France when Geoffrey Curran (USA) rolled down the ramp as the first rider and he stopped the clock in 4.50 to set an early mark. However, already the second rider on the course, Thibault Ferasse (France) was faster as he posted a time of 4.45.


Brun takes the lead

That time proved to be a bit harder to beat. Alexandre Blain (Marseille) slotted into third with 4.51 while Jaume Rovira Pous (Ecuador) missed out by just 3 seconds when he set the second best time. Merijn Korevaar (Rabobank) was left frustrated as he was just 0.14 second from taking the lead before Patrick Konrad (Bora-Argon 18) finally set a new best time when he went 0.26 second faster than Ferasse.


However, Frederic Brun (Bretagne) quickly pushed Konroad out of the hot seat as the Frenchman stopped the clock in 4.40. The first rider to challenge him was FDJ stagiaire Fabien Doubey who posted a time of 4.43. Julien Berard (Ag2r) made it into the top 10 with a time of 4.46 as he rounded out the first wave of riders.


Engoulvent moves into the hot seat

William Barta (USA) had a great ride to stop the clock in 4.44 which was good enough for third before Alexis Bodiot (Armee) made it into seventh with 4.46. However, it was Florian Vachon (Bretagne) who got the attention when his time of 4.36 allowed him to take the lead.


Everybody knew that Vachon’s lead would get under pressure immediately as two prologue specialists were the next riders on the course. Jimmy Engoulvent (Europcar) lived up to expectations with a time of 4.33 and that was two seconds faster than Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) who could only manage second.


Great ride by Bouhanni

Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo) narrowly missed out on the podium with a time of 4.36 while Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r) set a time of 4.38 that was good enough for fifth. Sam Oomen (Rabobank) was the next to make it into the top 10 with 4.42 before Jerome Cousin (Europcar) slotted into fifth with 4.38.


Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) proved that he is ready for the Vuelta when he set a time of 4.36 that was good enough for third. Moments later Justin Oien (USA) created a small surprise by posting the seventh best time and another youngster, Martijn Tusveld (Rabobank), set the 9th best time before Kevin Ledanois (Bretagne) slotted into 10th.


Best time for Geniez

Climber Alexandre Geniez (FDJ) created a major surprise when he stopped the clock in 4.31 to beat Engoulvent by 2 seconds and Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r) was unable to beat that mark as 4.36 was only good enough for fourth. He was even pushed down one spot by Nans Peters (France) who was fractions of a second faster.


Another two young riders did well as Cees Bol (Rabobank) set the ninth best time before Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Argon 18) did even better by taking seventh. However, it was LottoNL-Jumbo stagiaire Twan Castelijns (LottoNL-Jumbo) who got most attention as he moved into third with 4.33.


Surprisingly, none of the riders in the final wave were able to make it into the top 10 until Marc Sarreau made it two FDJ riders in the top 10 with a time of 4.32. However, moments later Teunissen powered across the line in a time that was 0.06 seconds faster than Geniez’ and as Pierre-Roger Latour (Ag2r) could only manage 4.40 that was enough to win the stage.



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