Mike Teunissen won a sprint finish to claim the opening stage of the 2019 Tour de France in Brussels, Belgium.
The Jumbo-Visma rider surprisingly beat Bora-Hansgrohe’s three-time world champion Peter Sagan on the line to take the yellow jersey.
Caleb Ewan of Lotto Soudal finished third and Team Dimension Data’s Giacomo Nizzolo took fourth.
Defending champion Geraint Thomas went down in a late crash but was unhurt and finished without losing any time.
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 6, 2019
Minutes after the stage finished, Team Ineos tweeted that the Welshman was “back at the bus and feels fine”.
The crash, with around 1.6km remaining, also saw one of the pre-stage favourites Dylan Groenewegen go down heavily.
Teunissen was expected to be Groenewegen’s lead-out man for the finish but with his main sprinter out of contention, he was able to contest the victory and he becomes the first Dutchman to claim the yellow jersey since Erik Breukink in 1989.
— Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) July 6, 2019
“I was still fresh, I saw everyone cracking in the last metres, even Sagan, and I just kept going until the end. It’s amazing,” said the 26-year-old who is riding in his second Tour de France.
Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang, who is expected to be one of Thomas’ main challengers for the overall title, was left with a bloodied face after he crashed with around 18km remaining. However, he too remounted and finished the stage without losing any time.