• Teunissen (R) edges out Sagan (L) in the sprint finish (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Initially part of Jumbo-Visma's lead-out train, Mike Teunissen made the most of an opportunity following the loss of Dylan Groenewegen in the final two kilometres, sprinting up the final kick to the line to claim a narrow victory.
By
Cycling Central

7 Jul 2019 - 1:57 AM  UPDATED 7 Jul 2019 - 2:12 AM

The commissaires had to go to the photo, Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) proving once again he's always in contention for the win, nearly adding to his 11 Tour de France stage victories.

Boxed in by Sagan, Tour debutant Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) hesitated when he had a micro moment of space, crossing the line for third.  

Fellow Aussie Michael Matthews (Sunweb) launched his sprint a touch too early at around 300m to go and before Sagan, but hung on for sixth. 

Interview with Stage 1 winner Mike Teunissen

Already being hailed "super-sub" for taking over when Groenewegen couldn't, Teunissen said he was still feeling  the loss of his team leader.  

"Our plan was ruined when Dylan [Groenewegen] crashed," the race's first leader said. "I couldn’t clearly see if he went down but when I realised he did, I was still able to sprint. I was feeling fresh as we didn’t do much before the sprint.

"Wout [van Aert] was still with me. It’s a really strange day because our goal vanished in a second. I hope Dylan smiles as I replaced him for the win. It’ll take me a few days to understand what’s happening to me, especially with the yellow jersey, but we have another big goal with the team tomorrow."

Stage 1 Winners
Julian ALAPHILIPPE
Julian
ALAPHILIPPE
Michael MATTHEWS
Michael
MATTHEWS
Primož ROGLIČ
Primož
ROGLIČ
Ide SCHELLING
Ide
SCHELLING

Around 17 kilometress before Groenewegen's bingle, pre-race favourite Jakob Fuglsang was also felled by a crash, skulking back to the peloton under the escort of his Astana team, blood pouring from a gash above his right eye and knee.

WATCH: Jakob Fuglsang's crash
 

Earlier in the stage, the race got underway with an aggressive move from Greg van Avermaet, jumping into the early breakaway. With one job on his mind - to lead the race over the iconic Muur van Geraardsbergen - Greg van Avermaet doggedly initiated the day's break with the drop of the start flag drawing Natnael Berhane (Cofidis), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha) and Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). After collecting enough points over the first two climbs, the proud Belgian re-joined the peloton, his national duty rewarded with the polka dot jersey in Brussels.  

Avermaet's three breakaway companions were caught with 70kms to go, leaving the sprinters' teams to position for the final sprint. 

Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) tried a move with 40 kilometres remaining in the race, but although he was given a bit of leeway by the peloton, he was easily recaptured in the run to the line. 

Australia's top sprinter Caleb Ewan didn't go away empty handed after his first stage of the Tour de France, making a trip to the podium as the owner of the white best young rider jersey. 

Tour Leaders
Julian ALAPHILIPPE
Julian
ALAPHILIPPE
Julian ALAPHILIPPE
Julian
ALAPHILIPPE
Ide SCHELLING
Ide
SCHELLING
Tadej POGAČAR
Tadej
POGAČAR
View Overall Standings