• Movistar's Nairo Quintana was less than pleased with his team's performance in the team time trial on Stage 2 of the 106th Tour de France. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Several general classification contenders suffer shocking time losses on just the second day of the Tour de France.
By
Cycling Cental

8 Jul 2019 - 10:08 AM 

For some like Jumbo-Visma, the second day of the 106th Tour de France looked easy. The eight-man, Dutch-registered UCI WorldTour team smashed the 27.6-kilometre course with the best time of 28 minutes 57 seconds. The performance ensured that surprise Stage 1 winner Mike Teunissen retained the yellow jersey for at least another day.

Meanwhile, last year's winner Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS), who claimed he felt "absolutely fine" following his opening stage crash inside the final kilometre in Brussels, was happy with his team’s second-place performance to keep both he and team-mate Egan Bernal in general classification contention of the three-week, 21-stage Grand Tour of France.

"I think we rode well," said Thomas after his team finished 20 seconds adrift of Jumbo-Visma. 

"We communicated well and a couple of times I thought we might have changed a little quicker but everyone was riding really strongly, so we can't be too disappointed."

"Looking at GC, it's a good performance, but obviously we wanted to win," continued Thomas, who is 30 seconds down on the yellow jersey. "I think 20 seconds [to Jumbo-Visma] is a big enough gap to know a few mistakes didn't cost us the stage win. It was a positive day for sure."

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Fellow GC contender and recently crowned Critérium du Dauphiné winner Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), who also crashed near the conclusion of Stage 1, was not as lucky against the clock. Astana crossed the line 21 seconds off INEOS and 41 off the winning squad, but the 34-year-old Dane was optimistic given his battered and bruised condition.

"I had better days, but after yesterday, I'm still quite happy with the feeling in general," said Fuglsang (+0:51). “It went better than I feared yesterday. We were talking yesterday that I might just have to sit on the wheels but today I was happy I could also pull.

"For sure with the time loss to INEOS, I'm quite happy with it. I said before the Tour de France started, that for me even 30 seconds would be OK.”

While Fuglsang was pleased with Astana's 10th-place result in the 22-team field, the same could not be said for Movistar's Nairo Quintana after his team fell 1 minute 5 seconds off Jumbo-Visma and 45 off INEOS to place him 1:15 adrift of yellow.

"[It] was not the best result," said the 29-year-old Colombian, winner of the 2014 Giro d'Italia and 2016 Vuelta a España. "We gave what we had. With our capacities, we did a good time. Losing time was expected. It's not the best thing to lose time, but we knew it from the start."

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Quintana’s team-mate and fellow GC hopeful Mikel Landa (+1:15) was more upbeat with his analysis of Movistar's performance.

"We finished with an acceptable margin. With the team we have, which is focused on the mountains,” claimed the 29-year-old Spaniard, who finished fourth overall at the Giro in May. 

"I was a burden," he continued. "The team paced Nairo and me very well. 

"This first week is about not losing time and then getting to the mountains in the best possible condition."

Here’s what others are saying after Stage 2:

Jumbo-Visma, 1st, 28:57

Mike Teunissen (BEL), Yellow Jersey: "Yesterday was a dream and today is again the thing we dreamt of. It was really hard because of Dylan [Groenewegen]'s crash – he couldn't give his all. He fought really well and did good work in the beginning and then we had one guy less.

"We had a tactic to do it without George [Bennett] because he's just too small (laughs). But in the end, he felt really good and could help us. The other guys were really strong, really long pulls. All the little kickers were really hard, but everyone kept their pace."

Katusha-Alpecin, 5th, 29:23 (+0:26)

Jens Debusschere (BEL), +6:39: "[It was hard] for the second day in a row. I did two pulls and I felt that I would get dropped at the next [level of] difficulty. It happened too.

"The team was very motivated and nervous – me probably most of all because I felt it would be hard for me.

"We had the right guys for it on this course. Ilnur [Zakarin] didn't know if he would go for GC. Now he'll take time on others, and probably will be encouraged to go for it."

CCC Team, 7th, 29:28 (+0:31)

Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), +0:41: "We did a good team time trial. Everybody did a great job. For myself, I was not so great. Everybody did really hard turns and we did a great performance.

"Tired? I would not say, but I was trying to get a good feeling on the bike. In the end, I came a bit better. I think we were motivated but you don't know where you'll end up. If you only give ten seconds to INEOS then you can say it's a good time."

Groupama-FDJ, 8th, 29:29 (+0:32)

Thibaut Pinot (FRA), +0:42: "For you, it was unexpected, but we knew quite well that we were fully capable of doing a good performance. Everybody saw us losing at least a minute, but we knew what we could do. We had one of the best teams at the start and we've shown that. We're solid and on form. It's the weakest who count in a team time trial and everybody is strong in this kind of exercise."

Bahrain-Merida, 9th, 29:33 (+0:36)

Rohan Dennis (AUS), +0:46: "It’s always a tough race – the TTT. I think as a team we rode quite well, but not perfectly. We still have to work on a few things like maintaining speed while going fast. We were ninth today and the important thing is that we weren’t too far behind Team INEOS and with a Team Jumbo-Visma, who was truly better than anybody else."

Mitchelton-Scott, 11th, 29:38 (+0:41)

Adam Yates (GBR), +0:51: "In the beginning, I sat on a little bit just to make sure that I could go to the finish. We've got some strong guys on the team and they were pulling some really big turns. If I'm pulling turn for turn with these guys, I'm going to go out the arse pretty quick.

"It's good to get through in one piece. We didn't lose a chunk of time. OK, we lost a little bit but like I keep saying, we'll just take it day by day.

"Anything can happen in the first week – you can crash and lose a minute pretty easily – but I think once we get to the first mountain stage and we get that out of the way, then we'll start seeing the picture more."

UAE-Team Emirates, 16th, 30:00 (+1:05)

Dan Martin (IRL), +1:13: "Because we're all on different race programmes and stuff it's difficult to find the time to work together and it's the first time we’ve done a team time trial in race conditions together so I think we did a good performance.

"In my head, I had less than a minute as a really good ride. I think we lost 1-20 last year; it’s a slightly shorter course [this year]. Obviously, we’re not as well drilled as a team like INEOS, so it shows everyone's in good condition.

“So we're happy to get around safely, we're not going to be too far behind the best times, so I think we showed good improvement on last year."

Movistar, 17th, 30:02 (+1:05)

Alejandro Valverde (ESP), +1:15: "It's OK, a gap within what we expected. It was a demanding time trial, but above that, a really fast one, which suits squads like INEOS really better. We're satisfied with this result. It's a hilly finish tomorrow, so we will have to remain really focused."

Trek-Segafredo, 18th, 30:15 (+1:18)

Richie Porte (AUS), +1:28: "It's not ideal, but we did a good team time trial there. Obviously, we lost Koen [de Kort] quite early, maybe after the crash yesterday. I think we did a really nice ride and there's still a long way to go.

“[Team time trialling is] not really my thing; 58kg trying to hold the wheel of those bigger fellas, but I’m not throwing the toys out of the cot just yet, it's a long way to go and the climbing stages are coming up."

AG2R La Mondiale, 19th, 30:16 (+1:19)

Vincent Lavenu, AG2R La Mondiale, manager: "Romain [Bardet] was good, very good. He was one of the riders driving the team. When you've got climbers and rouleurs in the same team it's hard to stay compact, but Romain (+1:29) was among the guys who were going strong and that's pretty encouraging."