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Mike Teunissen Wins Stage 1 of 2019 Tour de France; Geraint Thomas Crashes In Final Stretch

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Mike Teunissen of the Netherlands edged the former world champion Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan to win the Tour’s first stage in Brussels. His victory was marred by the defending champion Geraint Thomas’s crash in the final stretch, according to an AP report.

Edited by: JV Staff

The AP reported that Thomas’s Ineos team said he fell in the final meters but “feels fine.” Another top contender, Jakob Fuglsang, also hit the ground about 20 kilometers, or about 12 miles, from the finish in a separate crash.

Teunissen, 26, became the first Dutch rider to wear the yellow jersey since Erik Breukink 30 years ago.

Thomas quickly got back on his bike after hitting a barrier while his teammate Egan Bernal was held up by the crash. They did not lose time as per race regulations because the accident occurred within the final three kilometers, as was reported by the AP.

In the absence of the four-time winner Chris Froome, Thomas and Bernal have been promoted to co-leaders of the Ineos team.

Fuglsang, who is rated among the favorites this year, was hurt in the crash that took place a few moments earlier. The Critérium du Dauphiné winner, he remounted his bike with blood on his face and right knee, and scratches on his jersey, as was reported by the AP. 

The race started from the Belgian capital to honor the 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx’s first of five Tour victories. The 194.5-kilometer (120.8-mile) trek took the peloton through the Flanders and Wallonia regions and back to Brussels, which will also host Sunday’s team time trial.

The second spill played havoc within the sprinters’ teams riding at the front and split the peloton in two. It took out of contention Teunissen’s Jumbo-Visma teammate Dylan Groenewegen, the team’s best sprinter. (AP)

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