Cyclists hit the deck in a big crash within two kilometres of the fopening stage of the 2019 Tour de France. Picture: Frank Faugere-Pool/Getty Images
Cyclists hit the deck in a big crash within two kilometres of the fopening stage of the 2019 Tour de France. Picture: Frank Faugere-Pool/Getty Images

Shock leader after chaotic start to Tour De France

Caleb Ewan has narrowly missed out on claiming the opening stage of the Tour de France after a thrilling bunch sprint following a big crash that caused mayhem near the end.

Ewan was caught too far back and was then boxed-in in the last 500m of the 194.5km stage, which had a shock winner in Dutchman Mike Teunissen.

Teunissen came from nowhere to edge Peter Sagan by a tyre width after another Aussie, Michael Matthews, launched first on the tough uphill grind before fading to finish sixth.

Ewan, riding his first Tour de France, will wear the white jersey as best young rider for Stage 2, but couldn't help wondering what could have been.

"I think I should have been a little further upfront in the last 500m when we started going up the hill," Ewan said.

"But I felt like I was coming quite quick and I felt like I had the legs to win, so I'm very disappointed that I couldn't get through in the end."

 

 

Sagan had earlier said that Tour sprints "are always a big mess", but it was before the fast men unleashed that the real carnage took place.

Title contender Jakob Fuglsang hit the deck hard in a high-speed crash with 17km to go, rejoining the peloton with a cut knee and elbow and blood pouring down his face from under his sunglasses.

 

 

"Shit happens," Fuglsang said after walking out of the medical truck.

A bigger smash with 1.5km to go robbed Teunissen's teammate Dylan Groenewegen of a chance at victory, with that pileup also sending defending champion Geraint Thomas crashing into a barrier.

 

Mike Teunissen (black and yellow) pips Peter Sagan (white, rainbow sleeves and black knicks) and Caleb Ewan (white jersey, red sleeves) at the finish of stage one of the 106th Tour de France 2019. Picture: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Mike Teunissen (black and yellow) pips Peter Sagan (white, rainbow sleeves and black knicks) and Caleb Ewan (white jersey, red sleeves) at the finish of stage one of the 106th Tour de France 2019. Picture: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

 

Thomas won't lose time given the accident happened inside the final 3km.

Teunissen, riding for Team Jumbo-Visma, was stunned by his win.

"I cannot believe it. We were working for weeks, months to bring Dylan (Groenewegen) here to the win and yellow jersey, and then with 1.5km to go everything disappears because he goes down in a crash," Teunissen said.

 

Jakob Fuglsang carrying the scars of a crash 17 kilometres from the finish. Picture: Jeff Pachoud-Pool/Getty Images
Jakob Fuglsang carrying the scars of a crash 17 kilometres from the finish. Picture: Jeff Pachoud-Pool/Getty Images

 

"Then I thought, 'I'm still here, still fresh so we can try it'. Then I saw everyone dying in the last metres - even Sagan I was catching.

"I just took him on the line and it's beyond imagining. It's unbelievable.

"I think it'll take me some days more to imagine it because you can dream about it - the possibility to win a stage - but now it's working out pretty nice."

Teunissen stage-winning time bonus means Australia's Mitchelton-Scott will need to beat Team Jumbo-Visma by at least 10 seconds in Sunday night's team time trial to take the yellow jersey.

 

Overall standings after stage 1 of the Tour de France (Australians in bold):

1. Mike Teunissen (NED/Jumbo) 4hrs 22min 47 sec.

2. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) at 04 sec

3. Caleb Ewan (AUS/LOT) 06 sec

4. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/DDT) 10 sec

5. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/BAH) same time

6. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) s.t.

7. Matteo Trentin (ITA/MIT) s.t.

8. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) s.t.

9. Elia Viviani (ITA/DEC) s.t.

10. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TRE) s.t.

11. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/CCC) s.t.

12. Alberto Bettiol (ITA/EF1) s.t.

13. Andrea Pasqualon (ITA/WGG) s.t.

14. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/UAE) s.t.

15. Amund Jansen (NOR/JUM) s.t.

16. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) s.t.

17. Wout van Aert (BEL/JUM) s.t.

18. Christophe Laporte (FRA/COF) s.t.

19. André Greipel (GER/ARK) s.t.

20. Daryl Impey (RSA/MIT) s.t.

21. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) s.t.

22. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/DEC) s.t.

23. Yoann Offredo (FRA/WGG) st.

24. Simon Clarke (AUS/EF1) s.t.

25. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) s.t.

Selected: (all same time) 46. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) 47. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/DDT) 53. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 56. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/JUM) 64. Richie Porte (AUS/TRE) 76. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 81. Egan Bernal (COL/INE) 82. Rigoberto Uran (COL/EF1) 87. Michael Woods (CAN/EF1) 88. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 105. Fabio Aru (ITA/UAE) 111. Geraint Thomas (GBR/INE) 146. Simon Yates (GBR/MIT) 162. Luke Rowe (GBR/INE)

 

 

CLASS STANDINGS POINTS (Green jersey)

1. Mike Teunissen (NED/TJV) 50.

2. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOH) 50.

3. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/TBM) 33.

4. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) 27.

5. Matteo Trentin (ITA/MTS) 23.

6. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/CCC) 21.

7. Caleb Ewan (AUS/LTS) 20.

8. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/TDD) 18.

9. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) 10.

10. Lukas Postlberger (AUT/BOH) 10.

News Corp Australia


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