Netherlands' Mike Teunissen of the Team Jumbo Visma strains during the second stage of the Tour de France cycling race, a team time trial over 27.6 kilometers (17 miles) with start and finish in Brussels, Belgium, Sunday, July 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Teunissen keeps yellow jersey after team time trial

July 07, 2019 - 11:24 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — Dutch rider Mike Teunissen kept the Tour de France yellow jersey after his Jumbo-Visma squad outclassed rivals to win Sunday's team time trial.

Putting on a well-choreographed display in the streets of Brussels, the Dutch team's riders covered the 27.6-kilometer (17.1-mile) flat stage in 28 minutes, 58 seconds — 20 seconds faster than defending champion Geraint Thomas' Ineos team.

Deceuninck Quick-Step completed the podium, 21 seconds off the pace.

Teunissen, the first Dutch rider to wear the race leader's jersey in 30 years, was a surprise winner of Saturday's opening leg that was marred by a crash near the finish.

As the first-placed squad on the team classification, Jumbo-Visma rolled down last from the starting ramp near Brussels' Royal Palace. In perfect weather conditions, they posted the best time at both intermediate points on the very flat course going through Woluwe Saint-Pierre — five-time champion Eddy Merckx's childhood home — and leading to the Atomium, the iconic Brussels monument built for the 1958 World Fair.

Surrounded by teammates best-suited for the flat terrain, including former time trial world champion Tony Martin, Teunissen was up to the task too, taking solid turns at the front in his aerodynamic skinsuit and helmet.

"We heard that we were fastest ... We were flying, it was unbelievable," Teunissen said. "It's not that I'm getting used to winning stages at the Tour de France but it's two out of two now and it's really, really nice."

Teunissen now leads teammate Wout Van Aert by 10 seconds in the general classification, with another Jumbo-Visma rider Steven Kruijswijk in third place.

With the No. 1 bib on his back, Thomas showed no signs of weakness following his crash in the opening stage and was happy with his team's second place.

"I felt really good today. We got a good speed and we managed to hold onto it," Thomas said. "We could have taken some curves faster but that was a minimal loss."

After two days in Belgium, the peloton will enter France during Monday's Stage 3 which leads riders from the Belgian town of Binche to Epernay in the Champagne region.


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