Geraint Thomas in action for Team INEOS. Pic: Team INEOS

Thomas Is Tanked In TTT But Tour Hopes Get Boost

Geraint Thomas saw his hopes of defending his Tour de France crown boosted even if his team again just failed to break their time trial duck.

The Cardiff-born rider was catapulted into the top 10 – moving eighth overall – after Team INEOS finished second.

Thomas is just 30 seconds off the lead still held by Holland’s Mike Teunissen whose Team Jumbo-Visma outfit were the only team to get the better of Team INEOS.

But Thomas took time out of all his major rivals for the Yellow Jersey on the second stage, a 27.6km blast from Brussels Palais Royale – Brussels Atomium.

Thomas and his seven team-mates were first off the ramp and set the benchmark time of 29 minutes 18 seconds.

And that looked to be good enough to give Britain’s most successful cycling team their first TTT victory at Le Tour.

But that was until Team-Visma – guided by Germany’s Tony ‘The Tank’ Martin blew them out of the hotseats with the final and quickest time of the stage by 20 seconds.

Team INEOS led from the start but still waiting for that maiden TTT victory at Le Tour. Pic: Getty Images

“It was quite good going off first as your judgment on how the ride went isn’t skewed by the result, but I felt it was good,” said Thomas.

“Looking at GC, it’s a good performance, but obviously we wanted to win. I think 20 seconds is a big enough gap to know a few mistakes didn’t cost us the stage win. It was a positive day for sure.”

Thomas’ main rivals Adam Yates, Jakob Fuglsang and Thibaut Pinot all lost crucial time.

Yates, who rides for Mitchelton-Scott, and Astana’s Fuglsang, both finished 21 seconds slower than Ineos, while Pinot’s Groupama FDJ lost 12 seconds.

And Thomas also showed no ill effects from the crash on the opening stage on Saturday.

“I have no injury issues, I was going pretty slow when I hit the barriers yesterday – I’m absolutely fine,” said the 33-year-old.

Team-mate and fellow Cardiff born rider Luke Rowe was not one of the six that finished together having pout in several huge shifts on the course before dropping off.

Rowe is 125th – one minute 58 secs off the Yellow Jersey holder.

Tour de France 2019, stage two: Brussels to Brussels – TTT (27.6km)
1. Jumbo-Visma (Ned), in 28-57
2. Ineos (GB), at 20 seconds
3. Deceuninck – Quick-Step (Bel), at 21s
4. Sunweb (Ger), at 26s
5. Katusha-Alpecin (Sui), at same time
6. EF Education First (USA), at 28s
7. CCC (Pol), at 31s
8. Groupama-FDJ (Fra), at 32s
9. Bahrain-Merida (Bah), at 36s
10. Astana (Kaz), at 41s

General classification after stage two
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, in 4-51-34
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, at 10 seconds
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
5. George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma, all at same time
6. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos, at 30s
7. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos
9. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos, all at same time
10. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 31s


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