BRUSSELS (VN) — It could have been much worse.
Steven Kruijswijk came out on top with his Team Jumbo-Visma, with race leader Mike Teunissen. They covered the 27.6km around Brussels in 28:57. Team Ineos did well too, both Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal only lost 20 seconds.
“I had better days, but after yesterday, I’m still quite happy with the feeling in general,” Fuglsang said. “It went better than I feared yesterday.”
Fuglsang fell hard on his right side in the final moments of stage one in Brussels. His head shows stitches, but his leg feels the worst. He suffered muscle contusions around his right knee.
“I’m OK,” added the Dane. “I had a little headache yesterday. I’m tired, I was tired yesterday, but the cut over the eye is no problem, the leg is the worst thing and that is of course what you need here.”
Astana finished 10th at 41 seconds from Jumbo-Visma and 21 from Team Ineos.
“We were talking yesterday that I might just have to sit on the wheels but today I was happy I could also pull,” Fuglsang added.
“I think we did a decent team time trial for us, I’m happy with it, I’m happy that I could also ride with the guys.
“I’m not 100% now but I believe I’ll get back there. It was bad luck yesterday. I’m for sure ready to fight until Paris. There is a lot of bike racing to do, ,the big mountains are to come, and I think I will be back on top in a few days.”
Fuglsang and his team like Yates with Mitchelton, lost time on some, but gained time on others. Yates put time into Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), and Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team).
Mitchelton-Scott placed 11th, also at 41 seconds back from the winning team.
“It’s good to get through in one piece,” Yates said. “We didn’t lose a chunk of time, a little bit.
“I think as a team we can be happy with that. As a team we would like to win, we would’ve like to take time out of some rivals but…”
The first summit finish mountain stage comes already with stage six, to La Planche des Belles Filles. Between, some lumpy stages, like stage three Monday, and days for the sprinters.
“Yeah, pretty much, anything can happen in the first week, you can crash and lose a minute pretty easily,” Yates said. “Once we get to the first mountain stage and get it out to the way, then we can start to see the picture more.”