Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had a good start to this year’s Tour de France as Edvald Boasson Hagen made Top10 in the opening time trial in Düsseldorf. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) took the win and the first yellow jersey of the race.
On paper, today’s 14 km long fight against the clock didn’t look to be too difficult for the riders. However, the rainy weather conditions in Germany made the roads very slippery, which caused several riders to crash. Amongst those who went down were two of the overall contenders Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida). Both riders crashed in the same corner and had to abandon the Tour on the very first day of racing. Scott Thwaites also hit the deck but luckily, he was able to continue with just a few bruises and a quick scare.
Knowing how dangerous the wet roads could be, the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders didn’t take any risks, saving themselves for the expected bunch sprint tomorrow. Only Edvald Boasson Hagen tested his legs and the newly crowned Norwegian time trial champion put in a very strong performance. At the intermediate time check with 5.9 km to go, Boasson Hagen was 15th but on the final part towards the finishing line, he managed to move up to take 10th place on the stage. He will start tomorrow’s stage, only 16 seconds off the yellow jersey.
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Edvald Boasson Hagen: “It was really nice to finally get the race started. Personally, I’m happy about my performance. I was feeling all-right but I didn’t risk anything through the slippery corners. Still, I managed to finish in an okay time and I’m quite happy about that. Of course, you always want to go faster but I still think I should be satisfied with today’s result”.