Geraint Thomas takes first Yellow Jersey in Tour de France
Jul 02 2017 12:54 am CET

Geraint Thomas takes first Yellow Jersey in Tour de France
Geraint Thomas takes first Yellow Jersey in Tour de France
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GERAINT THOMAS
TEAM SKY
TOUR DE FRANCE

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) has won the first stage of the Tour de France. The Welshman was the fastest at the opening time trial.

The 104th edition of the French Grand Tour kicked off with a 14 kilometre long Time Trial in rainy conditions, which had the potential of making the stage dangerous and unpredictable.

One of the first riders to suffer because of the wet road was Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), who fell in a curve but was not visibly affected. Later on the day, his teammate George Bennett had the same luck and had to change bicycles after the crash.

By completing the circuit in 16 minutes and 20 seconds, Team Sunweb's Nikias Ardnt got to be in the hot seat for part of the afternoon. This was until Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) stopped the clock at 16'14''.

Some minutes later, former world champion Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) completed the course in 16 minutes and 11 seconds, pushing Trentin to the provisional second place and becoming one of the favourites to wear the yellow jersey at the end of the day.

But Kiryienka's teammate Geraint Thomas got in the way of him becoming the first Belarusian rider to wear the leader's jersey, stopping the clock at 16'04''. Later came the favourite of the day, Tony Martin, who couldn't top the time of the Welshman and completed the circuit in 16 minutes and 14 seconds.

Alejandro Valverde was the big victim of the day's rain and crashed heavily against the fences in one of the curves. He was immediately taken to a hospital with cuts in the leg and pain in the side, having to withdraw from the race and leaving Nairo Quintana without a strong member of his squad.

Chris Froome lost eight seconds to Thomas, being the best of the favorites to win the race. Porte lost 47, Quintana 48 and Contador 54.

Thomas wears the yellow jersey after the first stage of La Grande Boucle. Küng, Kiryienka, Martin and Trentin complete the top five of the day.
Photo of Geraint Thomas (cropped) by Team Sky.





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