Team Sunweb’s Mike Teunissen sprinted to 9th place on stage 1 of the Dauphine today, as a reduced bunch sprint decided the stage honours.
The first road stage of the Dauphine featured seven categorised climbs, with the first coming in the early kilometres of the stage. The beginning of the race was animated by a three rider group who jumped ahead of the peloton to open up a four minute advantage. Team Sunweb remained in the bunch, whilst the trio enjoyed a day at the head of the field.
The group were eventually brought back inside the final 10 kilometres and the peloton began to gear up for the final kick to the line. A crash at eight kilometres to go held up a large group of riders, but Team Sunweb managed to stay in safety. It was Mike Teunissen who duked it out in the sprint for Team Sunweb, finishing the day in 9th place as a reduced group of 25 contested the victory. Mike now sits 7th in the GC.
Mike said: “I felt good today, like planned I kept my position towards the final as I knew that there could be a lot of attacks. Unfortunately on the foot of last climb I was behind a rider that got a mechanical and I lost a lot of positions. It cost me energy to get back and I had to come from too far back for the sprint. I’m disappointed that I couldn’t get a straight shot to sprint but we have more opportunities here that we will continue to search for.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “After losing Laurens and Chris to sickness this morning we kept our plan to focus on Phil for this stage as we expected a group sprint. In the final Phil signalled that he wasn’t feeling his best anymore and we shifted focus to Mike. Mike lost a lot of positions on the foot of the climb which cost us a good result. He takes 9th place and moved up to 7th in GC showing he is on good level. We saw good teamwork from the guys in what was a very hard final.”